In The Company of Strangers

“Around 1990, I had a wonderful visit with an Ojibwe man from upper Wisconsin. While exchanging information about our languages, we realized that neither one of us could find a word to address the other as enemy.”

Albert White Hat Sr.

I absolutely love this quote. It is an incredibly powerful statement that brings me to tears and also makes me wonder. Growing up with standard public education (i.e., indoctrination) in the US, when taught “history” regarding the Native populations, the view was always asserted about how warlike and hostile they were among themselves. And yet, these two men, from their own original languages, could find no word to relate to the other as enemy.

It is also a very powerful statement regarding the humanity that each of us inherently carries within and is naturally born with. The vast majority of people on this earth want only to live simply in peace and to have what they need to do so. When governments and colonizing forces wage war and genocide upon the people and land, and continuously practice their insidious divide and conquer stratagem of corrupt politics, then we find ourselves engulfed and mired in exactly what we have today: a wasteland of human ignorance as people turn upon each other and further fuel the fires of disintegration and chaos.

To quote Krishnamurti, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

How long will we continue to allow these tyrannical governments to rule us in such blatantly unethical ways?

Is it really so difficult to just stop contributing – the means by which we give our consent – to a system that seeks to disenfranchise each one of us on so many levels, and start working with each other to build a system that is of the people, by the people, and for the people?

When did we so completely abdicate moral authority over our own individual conduct and ability to choose wisely for ourselves, only to end up with the system that does not serve the people, but rather enslaves them to feed its insatiable war machine and endless genocidal policies? This, ironically, is what your voting is continually giving consent to. If this is not clear to you by now, you have chosen not to see it with open eyes nor with self-regulating mind. Ignorance is the act of ignoring. It is a choice. As is freedom.

If we have learned anything at all, then it’s time to make these choices for ourselves, en masse, or never, and not at all. In the company of strangers, as different as we are, we are still the same, in very simple, yet deeply profound ways.

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