Native North American Cultures

With our cloud cover this morning, I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be -1 degrees when I got up this morning.  Indeed it’s cold and I’m feeling it all the more as these days continue.  It seemed no matter where I was, I could feel the cold radiating from exterior walls which during these times, that same old question I’ve asked myself comes back to mind, “Why are you still living in this arctic tundra?”

When I arrived at the office, I had a real hard time getting myself to do something constructive and likely due to my wanting to remain glued to a warm chair.  After about an hour, I did prod myself out of that chair and back to my year-end accounting which is slowly but surely getting organized.  Since I’ve done it for so many years, it seems each year I’ve found another way to tweak my methods just to save a little more time.

I had only one pressing thing to do today, and that was to attend a viewing/funeral of a long-time acquaintance.  When I arrived at the funeral house, I noticed there not being that many vehicles parked outside which came as no surprise considering how cold it was.  When I walked in, that same elderly lady stood there to greet me along with instructing me where to sign and place my sympathy card.  I went to place it in their “slot” but she said, “Oh no, not there.”  She opened a drawer a directed me to place it within.  Since I’d taken my tablespoon of malevolence this morning, I teasingly said, “I’m not sure I should leave it here because you look a little shifty-eyed.”  Oh Mercy!  She looked at me and and then to another helper standing there and said, “That’s the first time in my life I’ve ever had someone say that to me.”

Of course I had to admit I was only teasing and then I went into my speech about how the general public isn’t making jokes or laughing much anymore whenever interacting with others.  As I was giving examples, I noticed I was gaining all the more listeners to where I think one of the head ones of the center said, “You’re absolutely right because I’ve noticed the same thing.”  After I finished and ready to walk into the parlor, I gave the lady and a him both a good wink and said, “Just remember, you gotta watch her.”

Funeral parlors always get me emotionally stirred, and today’s was no exception because the family had a great number of photos posted of the decedent’s journey thru life.  As I looked at them, I was reminded how much our world has changed from 30 – 40 years ago.  I could see there was a great deal of love spread around in that family, and I’m hoping his survivors will be able to adjust to his death.  I made sure to share some of the clever remarks he made to me whenever we crossed paths which helped to bring a few smiles to their faces.

Upon leaving I said to the greeter, “I hope you remember me the next time I’m here.”  She didn’t have time to answer before that director laughingly said, “Oh don’t you worry, we’ll all remember you.”  Having to have the last word, I said, “I was once told a very long time ago by an exceptionally intelligent as well as clever old lady that if you want to have a memorable day, you must first take a heaping tablespoon of malevolence just to help get it started.”  I then walked back over to her and said, “Now don’t take anything I say to heart because I was only teasing.”

I’m sure most of you watched that incident that took place at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday where that high school boy stood in front of an elderly Native American drummer while taunting him.  The first thing that came to mind was what took place in Germany when Hitler started on his path to power.  He once said something like, “If you want to control a nation, you have to control its youth.”  Well, he did just that by creating the Brown Shirts, and the rest of it’s history.

One of my clients called later this morning who was seething with anger over that exhibition.  She’d done her own research and found that those high school boys wearing red baseball caps were visiting Washington D.C. and hailed from Kentucky.  What angered me all the more was hearing that they were students at an all-boys Catholic school.  She did say that there was already a statement made by their school official saying it’s highly possible they’ll be expelled for what they did.  In my mind, there’d be no other option other than kicking them out of that school for good, and don’t be surprised if tomorrow they’ll be standing before a camera all teary-eyed and coughing out staged apologies.

Far to many in our age have forgotten that the American Indians were here first, and nearly all their lands were confiscated in fashions that in our times would be considered beyond criminal.  And what angers me all the more, is that there’s little or no respect or regard for the rich histories the Native American Cultures have preserved in spite of their near complete eradication.  If you ever have time, visit your local library and pick up some well documented histories of the North American Indians since the arrival of the Europeans. If you’ve not familiar with their trails of tears, you’ll certainly have a crude awakening.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  A thousand words will not leave so deep and impression as one deed.

Joe Chodur

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