The native culture has adapted to America throughout the years, but one thing they have always been mindful of is their individual existence, natural beauty, and their teachings that they pass down from generation to generation. In “A Vision Beyond Time and Place” from The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday, the value of slowing down and looking deep into oneself is explored. For example, “He was a man who saw very deeply into the distance, I believe, one whose vision extended far beyond the physical boundaries of his time and place.” I chose this quote because it accurately represents that mindfulness and the importance, to the native culture, that knowing who one is and one’s purpose in the life. Wisdom comes with the ability to look beyond yourself and see the journey that is set out for you.
Another belief that is very important to the native culture is appreciating the natural beauty and everything that Mother Nature has given them. Charles Eastman, who grew up in the Indian culture gives a great example of this in “The Soul of the Indian”, “I lived the natural life, whereas I now live the artificial. Any pretty pebble was valuable to me then; every growing tree an object of reverence.” The natives believed that when someone is in touch with himself or herself and with nature, accepting and giving thanks for all that is given; they will find patience, respect, and courage.
The Native Americans have the strong belief that passing down morals and traditions to their children was the most helpful way to create children that are strong and able to accomplish great things. In “An Offer of Help” by Canassatego, he points out that the “American way” isn’t the best way to do things in the following quote, “they were instructed in all your Science….they were totally good for nothing.” The native culture values strong hunters, warriors, and counselors, and by showing their children their way of life, they ensure that the traditions will continue.
The native culture has always been strong in expressing their way of life. They value respect, silence, and teaching life skills. I admire them for knowing who they are and being able to sit in mindfulness and not needing to use the “American way”, which these days seems to be whatever is faster is better. I wish that in our culture today, we could use some of their practices, so slow down and appreciate the little things more.