The storming of the Capitol building in D.C. on January 6th, 2021 never had a chance.
The symbols it was organized under were alternatively chaotic, incongruent and some even grounded in Evil. Portions of the rally were led by varied men and women carrying a confederate flag, an American flag, a Trump flag and a Gadsden flag. At least one person wore a shirt glorifying the Auschwitz concentration camp, another shirt proclaiming that six million dead was not enough.
There were Elders in the crowd, but mostly they were jostled and shoved to the back. Mr. Trump and Giuliani certainly took the lead in the beginning – their call to action ultimately heard and heeded. There were arguably other Elders amongst the thousands in attendance that might have provided some of the guidance, wisdom and experience that was so desperately called for. However, any semblance of wisdom and guidance of age and experience that is so critical to healthy communities, organizations and societies was, at best, marginalized and misguided on that day.
The “warriors”, who might have led, seemed largely motivated by the opportunity for a selfie, self-promotion, wanton destruction or some sort of combination of all of those desires. Donald Trump Jr., who is of the right age to lead in this way, seemed to prefer to aggressively exhort other “doers” and then retreated to the safety of the White House. At varying points, a self-proclaimed “shaman” dressed in a bison headdress and fur, wearing face paint and carrying a spear appeared poised to lead. In so many pictures of him, however, he appeared more the lone wolf than a leader of others. He dressed in the trappings of – and apparently characterizes himself as – a shaman. However, the camera shows the truth of him to be much more a buffoon and cartoon character than anything else. And then there were the others who appeared to lead not because they had followers but because they were being followed and pushed forward by the mob. All appeared to be acting independently of the crowd whilst in the midst of it. Most seemed motivated more by cameras and cell phones than by principle. At the very least, most, if not all, betrayed the Warrior values of humility, respect and self-sacrifice. The cameras that they were worshipping exposed their lie.
And so it was.
Indigenous wisdom from all over the world has striking commonalities that we may choose to learn from and live by:
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