In this assignment we required to choose four chapters from the book “The Lakota Way” by Joseph M. Marshall III, I decided to write my paper based on the chapters about Humility, Love, Truth and Generosity because these four qualities is what I believe to be important in life. The first chapter I choose to write about is chapter 1, humility, because it relates so much with my life.
One of the Native American code of ethics states that,”treat the guest in your home with much consideration.
Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat with respect and honor”, my mom always told me that we should always welcome people with open arms. When I read about the story of the couple, no moccasins and three horns, it reminded me of that code.
No moccasins and three horns were always serving their village and were always welcoming people towards them and as the chapter goes on it explains the value of humility and the term “waktogklaka” which means “to tell ones victories”, yet it isn’t considered bragging because the main purpose of this is to “set as an example to the young men to follow”, to me this struck out the most because I can relate to no moccasins, the fact that she didn’t want to talk about her courageous story on how she saved her husband’s life revealed a better understanding on her character.
I, myself is a shy person and I always get intimidated when I’m in the spotlight, I always hated it, and I never liked that about me I never liked being the center of attention but after reading this chapter I realize that society is what makes me feel that way and I also and I also realized that it can be a good quality, staying humble and keeping yourself grounded.
At the end of the chapter it stated that, “Humility is used as an instrument for good”, I will never forget that because I believe that if a person with humility is a really good hearted person.
Another chapter I chose to write about is Chapter 5, Love; I particularly chose this chapter because first of all I’ve always been a big fan of love stories, and after reading the stories about the union of White lance and Willow woman, Cloud and Dawn woman, and the Man Bow and Arrow, I instantly fell in love with this chapter. Love is a beautiful thing, but now days I think love has been defined in a different way, I always admired the definition of “old school” love, reading about the love stories of these couples makes me believe the sayings that everything happens for a reason and if it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be. Read Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it
Love isn’t always between a man and a woman, love is for everyone, in the chapter it shared an insight about the bow and arrow, “a bow without the arrow is of no use, likewise for the arrow”, I love this saying because love is really all about balance and in relationships I think this is something that everyone should keep in mind, I see this quality in my parent’s relationship, which I admire. Another Chapter I decided to focus on was chapter 7, Truth.
This chapter really opened my eyes, I was already aware that we shouldn’t take advantage of our lives because it is a gift to be living, in this chapter it talks about truth and how truth can be an illusion and truth can be truth, Iktomi, the “trickster”, is an example of how truth can be an illusion, truth can be hidden, we can either be influenced by truth or an illusion the book states. Living in a society that we live in now, we live under a huge illusion of truth, especially the media; the media decides what’s wrong and what is right? But if that is what you think is what is true to you can be your truth and not someone else’s.
One more thing that stood out to me in this chapter is the part about death, many people I know say that their biggest fear is death, but I don’t fear death because I know death is just the way of life. “Death is our truest friend” , this part made an impact to me as I was reading this book, death doesn’t lie to us it’s as true as it gets. I believe that we all should find the beauty of death, because the only thing we can do is accept it and live every moment as if it was our last. The final chapter I chose to write about is chapter 11, Generosity.
While reading this chapter I remembered the story that Professor Ramirez shared with the class, the story about the man wished to leave all of his material possessions behind when he gets buried, I remember at the end of the story professor Ramirez said that as we leave this earth, no material possessions comes with us. In my generation I can honestly say that the value of material things has become greater and more obsessive, I perceive this as something negative, and to become obsessed with material things only creates competition and a negative attitude.
What my generation has forget is to appreciate mother nature, everything that urrounds us, as humans we think we are superior to everything in this earth whether it would be animals or plants and so on, what most of us don’t realize is that we all related and we are equal, “we are all children of the earth”. Generosity is a big thing in my family, we all know the saying “sharing is caring”, I have 3 brothers and 1 sister and sharing was one thing that we all had trouble doing as kids, but my parents always told us (in tagalog), “pag ikay nagbigay, mas malaki ang mababalik sayo” which means “the more you share, the more you have”, there’s only a good outcome being generous. Generosity should not be limited to humans”, mother earth provides everything for us, the least we can to us to appreciate, respect and to give back. Learning about the Lakota societal values, having sacred ceremonies like the giveaway is such an honorable thing to do, and this made me realize that I don’t have to huge things to let mother nature I appreciate her but as simple as respecting my environment is one of the greatest appreciation I can give.