Picture
Chief Crowfoot (1830 - 1890), warrior and chief of the Siksika FIrst Nation.

As Chief Crowfoot lay on his deathbed, his last words reportedly went something like this:

"A little while and I will be gone from among you. Whither I cannot tell.
From Nowhere we came; into Nowhere we go.

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time.
It is as the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."


In future blogs I will open conversations about earthwork preservation and related matters. For this first posting, however, I
wish to advocate for a particular way of being-in-the-world.

Chief Crowfoot's last words are profound and hold deep meaning. They remind us that our time is brief; and they give us pause to think about our place in the scheme of things. 

Reflecting on these matters, is it not true that all life is interconnected and interdependent? And, is it not true that all life forms have inherent value and worth?

If these statements are true, then it seems to me that, as human beings, we
have an affirmative obligation to make the world a better place during our brief stay. This obligation derives from the fact that as sentient, empathetic beings, we are among the privileged few that have the ability to see several actions into the future and based on those predicted outcomes, make moral choices for good. Moreover, we possess the physical capabilities to make those outcomes happen.

Of course how one defines 'good' differs among people; and all too often we have seen the tragic consequences of other peoples' notions about what is 'good' for the rest of us. That said, the definition I endorse basically holds that  'good' is a way of interacting with the world that increases the quality and quantity of available choices without causing harm to others.


There are many ways we can actualize good. The important thing is that we do something....

So in this first blog, I wish to advocate for action that in whatever way, big or small,  maximizes 'good' - which is to say, makes the world a better place. Become an advocate for animal rights; become an advocate for human rights; become an advocate for environmental causes; become an advocate for the preservation of our collective cultural heritage through earthworks preservation.

Whatever cause you choose; do something. For although as individuals we may be little more than a "flash of a firefly in the night", I believe that, together, we - as in seven billion people, can light-up the universe.


William F. Romain

 


Comments

ross hamilton
06/08/2014 1:30am

Agreed. One firefly is a miracle, but tens-of-thousands make a deep and lasting impression. Lesley and I stood by the tail of Serpent Mound two summer solstices past at 1 AM looking westward at the star-studded sky. But looking down, it was the fireflies filling the valley with their golden electric flashes that impressed us more. We are them, and our combined light, ongoing, will with time curtail the dreadful darkness of indifference infecting our short lives.

Reply
Kris
06/08/2014 7:37am

wise words, my friend.. I wish everyone in this world thought as you do....

Reply
06/08/2014 10:32am

I second your e motion Bill.

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Fred W. Martin
06/08/2014 3:09pm

William Romain's book "Mysteries of the Hopewell" is a classic in its field. It ranks with "Manitou" by J. E. Mavor and B. E. Dix [for the Northeast] ; "Prehistoric Astronomy in the Southwest" by J. M. Malville; and "Sun, Moon, and Standing Stones" by J. E. Wood [for Great Britain].

Reply
06/08/2014 3:55pm

Thank you Fred. I appreciate the compliment.
Bill

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08/12/2014 6:14pm

I was just reading this quote: “Woven into our lives is the very fire from the stars and genes from the sea creatures, and everyone, utterly everyone, is kin in the radiant tapestry of being.”
― Elizabeth A. Johnson, Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit

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