What Does It Mean To Be Civilized . . .

Alan @ Sedona Chapel webI hadn’t thought much about what it means to be civilized. I sort of took it for granted that I was civilized and living in a civilized culture. Then I stumbled upon the following quote that stopped me in my tracks.

The words that follow brought up more questions than answers. John Lame Deer, a Mineconju-Lakota Sioux born in 1903 on the Rosebud Indian Reservation wrote them. At the age of 14 he was sent to a boarding school, one of many run by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs for Indian youth. These schools were designed to “civilize” the Native Americans after their forced settling on reservations. ~

“Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, 
we didn’t have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. 
Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. 


We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. 
When someone was so poor that he couldn’t afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, 
he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. 
We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. 


We didn’t know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being
was not determined by his wealth. 


We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, 
therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. 


We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don’t know
how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things
that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.”

This entry was posted in Short Stories From A Long Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What Does It Mean To Be Civilized . . .

  1. Jacqueline Cathcart says:

    Interesting concept for sure and very thought provoking.

    Like

  2. QUAID says:

    Love it Alan. Thanks for today’s message. BTW, I just made a physical therapy appt. for next week at United Therapy Network and they are located in the US Bureau of Indian Affairs building on E. Tachevah Dr.! I’ll take a look at what else is there when I go.

    Paulette

    Like

  3. Esther Long says:

    Why oh why did we not follow their wisdom and adapt their ways. What were we afraid of?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s