Its not always easy to understand another persons heritage or culture, why they do the things they do with regards. I believe ignorance plays a big part when anyone comes to their own conclusion thinking they know another persons culture, coming across as very critical.
We all come from somewhere, someone and no one should be discounted in any way.
There is a new wave it seems with regards to the native culture and non-natives. The non-natives are wanting to experience the native culture, which is a great thing, but what part are they wanting to experience? I think to some degree they are not sure themselves, but sense something great about the native man/woman/child. The beauty of the native person is their spirituality, this is what I think is the magnet to non natives.
This is all my personal thoughts with regards and don’t speak for any other native or non-native.
Being on the internet there is no shortage of definitions with regards to spirituality, native or not and just like you can’t believe everything you are told, we should not believe
everything we read either. I guess one could say you’re on a vision quest, you need a change in your life and or you’re wondering what you should do with the rest of your life
which can be so confusing most of the time. The road is never a straight and narrow one, things are always changing, most of the time it is an uphill battle and we ask the question,why?
I believe any vision quest does not end till we are well into our adult hood, having experienced so much of life, and live to tell about it. There are times when we meet up with someone that we do not consider to be an elder yet they seem so wise and that is usually because they have been through a lot in their young lives, sorted it out, learnt the lesson and is able to relay the answers to some questions more easily than others. We are all born with the ability to create meaning for our own lives and it does not happen over night, it is a process of growth, first physically, then spiritually through coming of age.. so the vision quest was and still is in the defining moment in a persons life when they come to terms with all that has happened, can honestly say, without regret, and have a peace of mind spiritually.
I do believe in a Higher Power, something greater than myself and I also believe that any hill I climb in my life is so I can relate to another who has climbed the same hill, so I can have a greater sense of empathy, maybe I am wrong and this is just my way of not going crazy when things don’t go smoothly. I told a friend not long ago, now when I am in pain from my disease, ankylosing spondylitis and begin to pray, at times in tears, I don’t ask ‘why me?’, anymore in prayer, I have learnt to ask to be allowed to be able to sleep a few hours so I can rise above the pain for a few more hours when I do have flare ups and be able to be productive in some way throughout my day. That is a part of my spirituality, a part of who I am, because I know that there is someone out there in greater pain than I and I don’t have to watch television to see it or hear about it on the radio, there are people in some sort of pain around all of us daily.
We can not fix the whole world but we can help a friend, a family member or a neighbor, making changes in our own world and in doing so, others do the same and on and on.
I am so proud of my native heritage and even more so, I am proud to be ME, native or not..