Monday, November 16, 2009

They would tell the whole clan of the herd so that all could eat.

Up to a couple hundred years ago, Native American tribes of the plains were dependent on the Buffalo for food and survival. They used every part of the buffalo for sustenance. If a person were to see a herd of buffalo on the plains, the first thing that he or she would do is go back and tell the whole clan of the herd so that all could eat. They would get a hunting party together much like depicted in the hunt scene in Dances with Wolves (see video clip). They would hunt together and kill numerous buffalo- so the whole clan could eat for a long time.

The clan did not tolerate self-centeredness or "I consciousness." If the person that saw the herd shot a buffalo from himself and scattered the herd, the clan would take away his shelter and everything that he owned for endangering the clan with with his self-centeredness and failure to consider the needs of the entire clan. They could not afford such self-centeredness and lack of consideration. They could not survive with it. Their "we consciousness" or as they called it being "one-of-the-people" was the key to their survival and their way of life.

How is it that our current culture can afford self-centeredness? Why do we continue to indulge in it? Why do we tolerate it? Is it that we had so much abundance and wealth with the technology of the second part of the 20th century that we no longer needed acting as one-of-the-people for our survival?

It is quite possible that the return of limited resources and tough economic times will require us to live with one-of-the-people consciousness once again. We may actually need to consider each other and work together survive. Maybe we already do- but have just not realized it yet.

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