Giving Respect by Jacob Nez

Giving Respect by Jacob Nez

     Someone asked me in college if I held on to anything traditional. Since he was a Shoshoni and not an anglo asking weird questions, we had a good talk on things.

     “I greet every morning with corn powder to the four directions,” I told him. “I give the traditional thanks for all that the Creator has given us, of all that which flies or crawls or swims, of all growing things, and of all that is from Mother Earth and Father Sky.”

     He does something like that even though he is separated from his land by many miles. We both agreed that our day goes wrong if we don’t start the day this way.

     I think about this a lot as I review the bad ways I had when I lived in Winslow. Then I greeted every day with anger and bitterness at how unfair life is. It is so different now and I can’t believe that I strayed so far from my heritage.

     When I see kids on the street today, I feel so bad for them as they don’t know how to greet the day any way but as bad.

     Now that I have added the Christian tradition to my own, I see how important prayer is, especially for freeing our minds from anger.

     I hope that everyone who balances the Native with the Christian tradition does that with a growing prayer life.

     This is something I want to pray about.

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