My children have a book about the kids around the world. The message of the book is that “there are kids all around the world just like you.”
Seattle, WA and Browning, MT are not a world apart in distance; they may seem like a world apart in other ways. In fact, what I’ve realized over the course of today is that the message in my kids’ book is quite right – “there are (fill in the blank) all around the world, just like you.”
There are people grieving all around the world just like you. I had the privilege to see part of a funeral procession today. There were some difference – drums, a headdress. But mostly there were similarities – grieving family and friends; a gun salute for a veteran; a folded flag for the widow; a lifetime friend raising his hat and speaking a final greeting to his comrade.
There are people helping people all around the world just like you. I spoke to Daryl, an Indian man, for a long while today. He was a man who compared to me has little financial wealth. Yet he spent several minutes telling me all the ways he helps those less fortunately. All anonymously.
There are families all around the world just like you. I worked with Boney today helping with grounds keeping around the Blackfeet Community College. I asked him his favorite thing about the reservation. His answer was family. It is the very same favorite thing that I have of my own hometown.
There are people worshiping all around the world just like you. The ceremonies may look different but the intent is the same. I was invited to attend an Indian Sweat Lodge. I sat in this small domed lodge about 15 feet in diameter and watched the people gather for their service. Their conversation was not much different than that I hear as I wait for my church to start. Friends asking about the well being of family, inquiring about recent travels, and sharing their health concerns.
There are kids all around of the world just like you. If ever I find myself thinking that I’m different, I just need to watch the kids. The four boys that gathered in the sweat lodge were “boys” – laughing, spitting, taunting, and tooting all under their grandmother’s watchful eye. Of course, never during my church does the minister call from the pulpit, “You kids be careful around them horses now, you hear!”