I wonder if Chief Sitting Bull and Chief Crazy Horse would think our civilisation is that civilised?

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

The Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Sioux had wisdom that we are missing today.


There is a radio programme in the UK on BBC Radio 4 called Desert Island Disks. It comprises of a weekly guest who chooses their eight favourite records or disks - the only music they will have on their desert island.


Well, I have my ten best movies - my desert island movies if you like. One of the films on my list is "Dances with Wolves."


It was on TV just now, and I watched it.


Depicted in this film is heroism, the building of true friendship across forbidden divides. Unexpected true love, stupid and uninformed behaviour driven by prejudice. Madness, Sanity, Beauty and Sadness. Lies and theft and whipped up violence that feeds more violence and ends up in mob rule — challenges beyond comprehension and despair, but still hope.


This film high-lights so many issues throughout history. Every time I see it, this movie brings tears to my eyes - it fills me with ore, the vivid sense of the beauty within our world, and shear rage - it tears at my sense of justice or rather injustice and the stupidity of Man. This film, while inspiring, fills me with a sense of great sadness, because if you look out today - you can see that nothing much has changed.


The sense of tragedy that hits you, when you try and calculate the cost paid by individuals for the mistakes of others, throughout history is incalculable. Mistakes - some innocent but most made by egomaniacs or gangsters out of pure greed. The price paid for that by innocent human beings is pain and loss - all they are left with is what could have been. The memory of beauty, promise, dreams and the dreadful realisation of future individual human lives crushed. The very evolutionary fabric of nature - destroyed.


I then come back to the present day, and it kept turning over in my mind - what has changed? Disappointingly - not much. Our guns are more accurate and powerful - our communications are infinitely superior - we have more appetite for greed than ever, and we are arguably more selfish than we have ever been. There are certainly more of us than we have ever been. More people are alive today than have ever died!


A "Dalai Lama" quote - "when you lose - don't lose the lesson". Prophetically wise words, but apparently utterly ignored.


Our tribes may be bigger than 150 years ago when the Lakota Sioux and the other nations were roaming the Great Plains and the Black Hills, but we shouldn't kid ourselves.

Our civilisation and civility to each other have not moved on that much.


We, of course, recognise the kind of havoc that nature can wreak on us, out of the blue and without any warning. But how we govern ourselves is down to us. We just need to stand up and be counted - literally. And that is what is going to happen on the 12th of December 2019 in the UK. We will have a General Election, at which point we will choose a new leader - or the existing one?


Is it anger or frustration on my part - but I feel so disappointed that there are actually human beings, real people out there, many of them decent people, who could ever support Trump or Johnson. I see them and wonder why? Which bit don't they get? I couldn't support Trump or Johnson any more than I could support Putin or Maduro.


Good and inclusive governance seems to be a rarity these days. An exception rather than the rule.

We in the UK have the most right-wing government that has existed in my lifetime - and the alternative appears to be the most left-wing party that there has ever been in the UK. The Liberal Democrats, the middle ground you might think, have thrown democracy out of their liberal window and decided that the majority doesn't rule after all. They intend to revoke article fifty without asking the country. A massive error I would suggest, which has certainly lost them my vote.

There appears to be no middle ground at all. Common sense doesn't always prevail, clearly.


Which leads me on to Aristotle - perhaps he was right? Perhaps people who do not understand what they are voting for really shouldn't have the vote. Maybe voting should be left to the philosophers after all. To the people who want the best for everyone, not just a select minority?


Even with all the gizmo's and technology, we have today, I can't help feeling we are - politically - going backwards. Perhaps the Sioux Indians - the Native Americans - The Human Beings - maybe, after all, they were way ahead of where we are now? Maybe along the way of progress, we have lost something important?


Rick - Suffolk - UK - 4th November 2019

rick@notesfromengland


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