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Old 06-05-2015, 04:04 PM   #8
OLChemist
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You are a newcomer to Indian Country. A trait that is very valuable to cultivate is patience. In my experience nothing in Native ways is learned quickly, except humility :)

Our elders have seen a lot of people come racing into our communities. Some have been in pursuit of research dollars, quick fix spirituality, a white-guilt get out of jail free card, instant Indianess... They want instant information to take away and use without return. (Nowhere in what I just wrote was I saying you were doing this.) This makes people skittish.

Even for folks born within the culture and community, knowledge does not come quickly. (Ask Wardancer, he will tell you he's an old guy but he's still learning.) This is part of our ways. People will test your commitment. If you go to a Lakota elder to ask for help, you may well be refused the first three times. Wowacintanka, perseverance, is a Lakota virtue. Patience walks and in hand with perseverance. (Says the woman who lacks both, LOL.)

You have been enculturated within the dominant culture to ask and you shall receive. This has its roots deep in the enlightenment and even deeper in the Hellenistic Greek ethos. You are heir to cultures that do not spring from those worldviews. You are trying to enter those cultures. Therefore, you might do well to become aware that not all the world learns by direct interrogation. There are areas in all cultures about which questions are improper and even unwelcome. It is well to go slowly and take what answers you get. You may be warned away from those areas.

Last edited by OLChemist; 06-06-2015 at 06:03 AM..
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