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Reflections on Native-American speakers

It was my pleasure to attend the talk given by Bo and Cheryl Tipton. I was determined not to miss it.

I am one who definitely believes we can learn from different cultures. As Bo and Cheryl described Native American culture in the U.S., it is quite different from the mainstream.

There were many facets of their presentation which were very interesting and useful but one, in particular, stood out in my mind:  Cheryl made the point that, the more disconnected we become from nature, the more sick we get, both in our hearts and minds. I found a great deal of truth in that statement. There is so much stress in modern life that man needs some sort of relief, and maybe that relief does come in the form of nature. But how, in a practical sense, when we are all so busy, can we return to nature?

I may not have the perfect solution to this, but many people in Springfield notice that I, along with many other local residents, make a habit of walking. I have searched for a form of exercise that I both enjoy and is easy to accomplish, and that is walking. In the process of walking, I both see and appreciate nature, from the beautiful green to the animals that are present. It is a true form of relaxation and it helps me in other facets of my life.

Another important point which was made in the talk was when Cheryl, again, made the point that the words we say have creative powers.  Now, to a certain degree, that is common sense. Yet, again, I find that our culture values material objects more than ideas.  But, think about it: How would the changes which have occurred in our society  taken place, were it not for the words and ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King? In my view, words and ideas are more powerful than material objects, because they are not constrained by space and time. (In a way, Dr. King is a more powerful figure today than when he was alive.)

In citing Cheryl's contributions, in the first two examples, in no way am I trying to minimize the importance of what Bo stated. Bo covered many points, such as his worries that the younger Native American population is becoming too assimilated, the fact that the loss of Native-American languages has accelerated, and his description of "Giveaways"(When some Native Americans have accumulated too much, they have given things away, as part of an official act.).

The "bottom line" is that we all need to be open to new ideas. I went into Bo and Cheryl's talk expecting to learn some things that I didn't know, and they didn't disappoint in that respect. It remains to be seen what one theme or idea that they brought forth will have the most impact upon me, personally, but I would like to hear how others might have been affected by Bo and Cheryl's talk.

Founded in the Dominican tradition in 1931 and sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, St. Catharine College, a Catholic Dominican College inspired by its founders, welcomes all to the challenging pursuit of truth, preparing them to become critical thinkers, ethical leaders and engaged citizens.