Trusting In Tradition

Night Fires by Jeanne Rager

Horse Drawn transport, ‘Tin Lizze’, and Steam Train from…

The Makers of the Mold by Kenneth W. Newcomb.

Greetings. As we pass into the New Year, I am drawn to look back over the changes I have seen in my lifetime. Some of the newest ones frighten me.

I remember with fondness the horse-drawn delivery wagons, the ‘Tin Lizzie’, a car considered so special, I had to remove my shoes before I was allowed to ride in it, and the steam engine train that belched black smoke on the way to the seashore.

Men worked with their hands and we were proud to say that our possessions were ‘made in America’. Life moved ahead, but at a gradual pace that didn’t threaten the loss of our traditional values, the way it does now.

Somewhere between back then, and now, our lives have been switched over to the ‘fast lane’, which runs roughshod over tradition and the valuable lessons it teaches.

We don’t seem to think we need those lessons anymore, but we always did, and we always will. Without them, we will become lost in the morass of reckless living.

Think about it. Have you read any really good news in your newspaper, or seen any on the TV lately (after you get through all the medicine ads)?

By remaining steadfast to their traditional beliefs, the Indian has survived the stone age, climate change, the coming of the Europeans with their diseases, warfare, land theft, false treaties, Wounded Knee and other massacres, and finally reservation life with its deliberate starvation and ill housing.

Through it all, it was the strength they gained from traditional living and mores that helped the Indian to survive. They have even lived to finally see a memorial built, honouring those very traditions, on the Washington D.C. Mall.

It was built on the last piece of available ground, but it’s there, nonetheless.

Tradition is strong in the heart. It promotes social behaviour and mores. It teaches lessons from the past, and wisdom for the future.

Most importantly, it holds us fast to our spiritual beliefs. Wisely, the Indian covets its value. Through its strength, they have made it through thousands of years, and will be here a thousand more.

Grandmother Two Bears.

A view of the Mall looking toward the Washington Monument
Photo courtesy of the DC SHPO

This story and many mores stories are now available in the new book The Story Teller by Grandmother Two Bears. To order the Grandmother Two Bears book, use the following button.

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