In this month where we often focus on gifts tied up with ribbons and bows, there is another type of giving that is more rare, and, much more personal. Giving of yourself. Where you go, what you focus your energy on, how you spend your day.
I find myself drawn to the situation at Standing Rock. We will never know the whole story, we can only see how it is evolving. I could focus on the negative, the news truly does, but in between the sensational headlines you see countless numbers of people giving of themselves.
This article from The Guardian has an important message;
Frank, “from right here”, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux. Somewhere in the conversation he said : “I wake up happy every day about this.” I asked him how this changed the past, thinking of the losses the Lakota/Sioux faced over the past 150 years, but he heard the question differently. He mentioned that their old enemies the Crow and the Cheyenne came to stand with them, and that the old divisions are over.
This image, found many places on the internet, is from the evening that the decision to stop the pipeline was made. However fleeting that decision may be, that night the decision was to give joy and hope.
Finally, what compelled me to focus on this, is the gift of time from 2000 veterans that joined the action in the freezing cold, giving freely their time and presence in a very tense situation. I hope that the mission of peace quoted in this article is what is remembered.
Chicago native David Hulse, 34, a Navy veteran who served in Iraq told ABC News that he decided at the last minute to join the protests, describing his involvement as “not a mission of war, but a mission of peace.”
“Seeing so many veterans show up,” Hulse said. “Out here, it’s brotherhood.”
Hulse added that the goal of protecting Native American protesters at the site is “a frightening task,” but he said he hopes to serve as a witness.
“Violence will not end violence,” he said. “Peace will end violence.”
I can not say how this will end, I can say I am giving it my thoughts and attention.