Mike Sr.’s wisdom and teachings

Deciding what to discuss in this blog post about our time on the reservation was very difficult for me. There is just so much information, wisdom and experience to process. However, what really stood out for me about this experience was Mike Sr.; his life story and the vast wisdom he possesses. I have never met anyone like him, and I feel like he is not wholly of this world. Meeting him and listening to what he has to say has forever changed my world view. I would like to discuss his lecture and his teachings more in depth with the rest of the class—I want to get as much out of his teachings as possible. Some of his points that really hit home for me are the concept of One God, and the small value he places on material possessions and wealth. To me it seems he was saying that all religions and spiritual traditions are worshipping one God just in different ways. It’s the crudeness of humanity that takes this worship of the same God and puts cultural labels on it, with each culture claiming superiority. It is the ignorance of humans that create strife. I think Mike Sr. was trying to encourage us to see how trivial labels on religion are and to accept and respect all walks of life.

Also, after he spoke of how little money and material objects matter I realized the assumptions I make having grown up in a monetary culture; at first I was shocked by the bareness of his house. However when he told us about how much he gives away and how his top priority is helping his people I realized how incredibly wealthy he is, just not in the sense we think of as 21st century Americans.

I also find it amazing that he can find it in his heart to be so incredibly passionate and welcoming to us as mostly white outsiders. When he and his people went through and are still going through so much hardship and strife at the hands of our government. From the boarding schools to the broken treaties to the genocide both physically and culturally it’s amazing Mike can be so compassionate and non-resentful.

When Mike said it would take us at least a year to fully understand what he told us in a few short hours I absolutely believe him. I desperately want to keep his words in my heart and to continue learning. He has inspired me to be a better person and help those around me. I will be forever grateful to him and his family.

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