Sunday, October 30, 2016

Learning from the Sioux

From the Art of Manliness:
The skilled hunter would regularly invite the old men of the tribe to feast with him and his family; in return, the old men entertained and edified the household with their stories of days gone by. By showing himself to be a generous host, “his reputation is won as a hunter and a feast-maker, and almost as famous in his way as the great warrior is he who has a recognized name and standing as a ‘man of peace.’”

Courage. The importance of courage to a Sioux is encapsulated in Eastman’s recollection that he had “wished to be a brave man as much as a white boy desires to be a great lawyer or even President of the United States.”

Courage was predicated on the ability to forget oneself in the pursuit of duty and the desire to serve and protect others. As Eastman explained: “The Sioux conception of bravery makes of it a high moral virtue, for to him it consists not so much in aggressive self-assertion as in absolute self-control”:
The truly brave man, we contend, yields neither to fear nor anger, desire nor agony; he is at all times master of himself; his courage rises to the heights of chivalry, patriotism, and real heroism. ‘Let neither cold, hunger, nor pain, nor the fear of them, neither the bristling teeth of danger nor the very jaws of death itself, prevent you from doing a good deed,’ said an old chief to a scout who was about to seek the buffalo in midwinter for the relief of a starving people.
(Read more.)
Via The Pittsford Perennialist. Share

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