It’s time The World adopted an old warrior’s code of conduct!
|Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.
It ought too!
These are the immortal words of President John F. Kennedy, words that inspired and galvanized an entire generation, my generation!
No one truly knows from whence Kennedy got this beautiful phrase. Many say he wrote it himself, others insist that it is the inspirational product of one of his great speechwriters, still others think he snatched it from the writings of some great philosopher or statesman such as Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln, Buddha or perhaps Ghandi.
I personally think it originated, though in different words, from Native American philosophy, specifically from the social order of some of the Native Americans of the Great Plains, the Sioux, Cheyenne, Kyowa, Lakota, Arapaho, and others.
Consider the often-used phrase: It is better to give than receive!
This simple belief is not relegated to Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any of the world’s great religions, but it is the cornerstone foundation of “Great Plains” society. “Native American Society.”
In many of these societies the greatest and most respected warrior was also the poorest and the one with the least amount of possessions. Not all of the tribes were this way, but a good number of them.
Unlike our modern day society, where power and success is far too often measured by how rich a person is or how large a home or estate that person lives in, many early Plains societies measured a person by how much they gave to others.
Should a warrior conduct a successful raid against the traditional enemies of the clan, such as the Crow or Blackfeet, or mount a trading expedition into far distant lands, all goods received through such an enterprise would be distributed among the People. The successful warrior or trader would be left with little or none of the highly prized goods.
Distribution was made based on need. The poor, the unfortunate, the elderly and the infirm always-received first pick from the spoils. The remaining goods were distributed equally among the rest of the clan. No clan member took more than their needs justified.
This special giving of everything he obtained indebted the elders and clan members to the warrior. Consequently, the poor warrior became the most respected and influential member of clan society.
You might say the gift of giving kept on giving and giving and giving.
For you see, as the warrior became an OLDWARRIOR, younger men would shower gifts upon him and he would become wealthy.
In America we don’t refer to the People as our clan, but as our country.
Unfortunately, too many people today ask not what they can do for their country, but what their country can do for them. They automatically assume that just because they were lucky enough to be born in America, that America has an obligation to take care of them from birth to grave. Their attitude is not to give, but to take, take, take!
Not so with most of the American military, our “American Warriors.” There are those who volunteer for ulterior motives, such as educational opportunities and other benefits, however, for the most part they volunteer out of patriotism. Their belief in our country, our way of life and its ideals, is so strong that they are willing to lay down their lives to protect it.
How many rich American warriors do you know?
Are our American warriors the most respected members of our society?
Before you rashly answer this question, consider the massive number of poor, destitute, forgotten, and ill-treated Veterans in our country.
I was a citizen soldier, an American Warrior, for well over twenty years. In fact, when I joined the Army in November 1963, two days after President Kennedy was assassinated, I told them I wanted to serve like a Native American Warrior “without pay.” Of course they thought I was nuts and wouldn’t allow it.
Considering the awesome sacrifices I had to make (and I am far from rich), if I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would volunteer in a heartbeat, for I am a proud descendant of those great Native American Warriors!
I am Na’Gin’ aLta (he who scouts ahead).
Of course my grandmother called me Hockshun tickalo (little wee-wee).