Of all the people down through history who have gotten a raw deal, the Native Americans have to be right in there at the top. The tragedy of that history is compounded for me by the strong affinity I feel for the peoples of the First Nations. That is somewhat beside the point though, for I would advocate for any people who needed assistance. We are all family after all.
Mitakuye OyasinOkiciyap is Lakota for 'we help.' What could be better than helping someone out who really needs it? We are our brothers' and sisters' keepers after all. What better expression of all that is best in humanity than to reach out and help a fellow human being in need?
There is a simple but profound Lakota prayer: Mitakuye Oyasin.
These two words mean All My Relations or We are All Related.
To pray this prayer is to petition God on behalf of everyone and everything on Earth.
Mitakuye Oyasin honors the sacredness of each person's individual spiritual path, acknowledges the sacredness of all life (human, animal, plant, etc.) and creates an energy of awareness which strengthens not only the person who prays but the entire planet.
We are an odd species, I suppose it's fair to say. When we're not scamming each other we're killing each other, or so it can seem. We are a decidedly mixed bag of traits and characteristics, from predatory instincts and genocidal acts to charity and selflessness, one never knows what one might find in our particular box of chocolates. Of our many widely ranging qualities, the one I most admire, the one that gives me hope and keeps me from agreeing with those who say we are scum, is that of altruism.
al·tru·ismThis most human characteristic is the shiny side of humanity. It is what redeems us, in my opinion. It is what I admire most in humankind and what I love most about liberals. We are an altruistic lot. You can see it here among kossacks, who possess this trait in spades. It's the main reason I am proud to call myself one. It's why I love Okiciyap.
the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others
(opposed to egoism).
The best way I know to celebrate being human is to reach out and help someone in need.
Please support the Okiciyap quilt auction which begins on Wednesday, March 27th.
And if you cannot afford to bid on the quilt, but can give a little to Okiciyap, you can do so here:
Okiciyap Food Pantry
P.O. Box 172
Isabel, S.D. 57633