Vi Waln: Many Lakota people are thankful every day of their lives

Vi Waln

Sicangu Scribe
By Vi Waln
LCT Columnist

Our personal attitude determines our happiness. November 26 is Thanksgiving Day. We all have much to be grateful for. People all across this county are making the choice to give thanks for their life, while countless other people are choosing to focus on negative issues. Our lives would improve greatly if we demonstrated genuine gratitude for what we have, instead of thinking constantly about what we lack.

November 19 was the day designed as the Great American Smoke Out. I appreciate all of the nicotine addicts who are in recovery. Nicotine is a drug which we can all do without. Cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco are not bad habits. In reality, people who smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco are drug addicts. In 2008, I found the inner strength to quit smoking cigarettes. I am grateful for my nicotine free life.

Technology has certainly improved the way we receive our news. I am thankful for technology because I can learn about something as soon as it happens. Still, I haven’t determined if it is really better to be instantly informed. Before there were computers and the internet, we received news updates from television, radio and newspapers. Now we can simply pull up an online news source to read what is happening in the world.

The same goes for social media, before the internet it took several hours for Rez gossip to be circulated. Now social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, will update us instantly on everything we want to know (or maybe don’t want to know) about what’s happening on the Rez. While I am thankful to be informed about what happens around me, I am not sure if I am grateful for all the things I read on social media sites.

For instance, the majority of the complaints I read on social media are focused on the shortcomings of tribal government and/or tribal programs. People will always find something to attack. It appears difficult for many local people to focus on the good things happening around them. Personally, I am proud of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. I am thankful for the many hard working elected officials and employees who put great effort into their jobs, despite all the negativity they are subjected to on social media sites.

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For example, I was grateful to receive a frozen turkey this week from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Each Thanksgiving, frozen turkeys are purchased by the Tribe and distributed to reservation households by Community Services. Your Community President is responsible for picking up and delivering this gift of food to community households. I want to say thanks to all who were involved in this endeavor; it’s a lot of work to pick up food or dry goods and deliver it to individual households.

Also, I’m still thankful to the work done by the people of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and others regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. Thanks to many of you, there will be no Keystone XL pipeline crossing our land and water sources. This was a fight that countless individuals and organizations were engaged in for several years. Many of the pipeline fighters are still feeling the natural high that came with President Obama’s denial of the TransCanada application. We are grateful for our clean water!

Accordingly, every time I use or drink water, I give thanks. We cannot live without water. There are many people in the world today who do not have immediate access to good water like we do. I want to tell you to never take your water for granted because nothing in this world is guaranteed for us. Praying with love and gratitude for your water can change the molecular structure of it. Google “miraculous messages from water” to learn more about the power your prayers, love and gratitude have on water.

Our journey on Mother Earth is a gift. Many Lakota people are thankful every day of their lives, while others refuse to recognize the gifts each day brings. Learn to be grateful for your daily blessings, it’s better to be happy with what you have than to use all your energy complaining about what you don’t have.

I’m forever thankful for technology because it has made newspaper work easier. I can’t really imagine typing this column every week on a typewriter and then hand carrying it to my publisher. Nor can I imagine developing hard copy photos each week from negatives.

Wopila for reading the Lakota Country Times each week! Have a great holiday season!

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