Temper freedom with honor

To the editor:

“Neither Wolf Nor Dog” is a great book by Kent Nerburn that is now also a movie.  It records the wisdom of an old Lakota man who has the gift of seeing with both white and Indian eyes.  I think his opinions about freedom and honor are profound and timely.

The Europeans moved to this continent in search of personal freedom, especially the freedom to own things.  They displaced people who were free from the restlessness of a culture that  celebrates greed.  Indians watched white people put up fences and defend their private property and possessions because they didn’t trust their neighbors.

“We didn’t make cages of laws or land.  We believed in honor. Our guide was inside, not outside. It was more important for us to know what was right than to know what was wrong … We had freedom, so we didn’t seek it. We sought honor, and honor was duty.  The man who sought freedom was just running from duty, so he was weak.”

I see a simple solution to all the problems we Americans face today — temper personal freedom with honor.  Think before speaking, listen to the land, share what you have and honor each other and our home planet.  Incessant activity, fueled by the competitive part of our human nature, continues to rob us of the joy that is possible when we are reverent and compassionate.

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