Our young people are warrioring up!
In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, it's easy to find legitimate threats, reasons to fear and to then turn towards hopelessness. After all, even our neighbors who approach us in the store or on an evening stroll by our home, now pose at least the possibility of a viral threat. Additionally, the discord and disorganization of many of those in positions of leadership engender more hopelessness and frustration than they do inspiration and direction. And so, the virus attacks not only our lungs and breath, but moves on in its assault on our confidence and strength as communities, neighbors and families.
Our youth are called to in a time like this. Their bodies are healthier and better able to withstand the threat of a virus. The elders now must be protected and kept in place at home and away from others -- at least for the moment and while the threat is highest. The young people's inherent fearlessness is also of value now, if tempered by guidance and knowledge. This is also the time for them to learn that the world is bigger than their phones, drama, personal interests and needs. They have always had a profound responsibility to find their place in their communities. To find their unique gift, and to give that gift to their People. However, in the modern world, the obligation to be of service to others, is often obscured by the illusion that we can survive as a species in selfish and self - indulgent ways.
Part of the gift of Coronavirus is that it has laid bare many of our lies and mistakes. The fact is that we ARE all related. We DO need each other. The Earth IS our mother and will bring us back into balance if we do not do so on our own. And our youth DO have a profound responsibility to play an integral role in our communities. And this demands of them sacrifice, courage and strength. The selfishness, shortsightedness, greed and me-ness of the past few generations is being ravaged by the virus. This is a good thing.
In the time since the virus humbled many of us, we have called on you to support our Covid Action Initiative and your response (we are already 25% to our goal) has allowed us to call on Gen7 and other young people- both on and off Pine Ridge - to take action and ease the fear and suffering in their communities. Each week they identify families in need- some now suffering from the effects of Covid 19. They send us a list of their needs (food, diapers, hygiene supplies, water, etc.) and request help on behalf of those not able to reach out because of access, fear or remoteness. Supplies are then ordered, disinfected and distributed. Logs and firewood have also been cut, loaded and transported for the upcoming winter. Young Lakota men are milling logs to build a log home for a family with far too many people living in too small a space. Seeds are being planted and gardens started so fresh vegetables can be grown and used as medicine.
The virus has closed the schools, stopped the athletic competitions, malls, family gatherings and so much more. There is a lot to grieve in that to be sure, but there are openings too and much to be grateful for in this time. For those young people who have stepped up to help -- and our supporters who have made it possible -- we are incredibly grateful for all of you.
Wopila (a deep and immeasurable gratitude),
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