There was a man whose life spanned the latter part of the fifteenth century well into the sixteenth century known merely as Stańczyk who served as court jester during the reign of three different kings.
He is remembered in his native land of Poland as being more than a jester, but also a man of intellect and philosophical insight, and has become a symbol to his people in their recurring and historical struggles for independence.
Stańczyk is credited with having said to “stir the nation” but not to “tarnish the sacred things, for sacred they must remain.” and that brings me to the point I would make.
Statements such as this have not been singular events during the course of struggles for independence, there are those who have echoed similar sentiments and understood that if those things that define a nation like traditions, ceremonies, and spiritual beliefs are devalued that in the destruction of these lays also the destruction of a people. That the preservation of such will ultimately define the independence, and they should be a standard to invoke and a calculus to measure those who would lead by and the direction taken.
The history of the Polish people has been fraught with suffering much the same as that of the nations-they have exhibited the same willingness to fight for what is theirs just as the nations have. And like the nations have endured genocidal policies directed at them-it is fitting that they too would seek to defend what is sacred among them and I would say to those who would condemn all of Europe and it’s people that they take a moment and view them as something more than a fan base or demographic to solicit donations from.
If any would claim affinity with Palestinians and liken their circumstance to a reservation then likewise they should recognize the trials and strengths of the Polish people. Suffering is neither selective or discrete-no one has ownership of it.
It has long been my contention that in the rise to dominance by AIM in the sixties a process of the marginalization of Elders and their traditional roles was undertaken and effected.
It would follow as a matter of consequence that the “sacred things” would become tarnished, we can see that it is so when an organization such as AIM makes claim to a “spiritual foundation”.
We can see that it is so when ceremonies were tarnished by the presence of alcohol and other abuses at Crow Dog’s so called Paradise-when honoring ceremonies were held for the
least deserving-when the abduction, rape, and murder of an indigenous woman was condoned by an act of silence rather than condemnation and a focused anger as it once would have been.
In this tarnishing, in this marginalizing of traditional roles, is a loss that more than the current generation must bear-it is a loss the unborn will inherit and forever be lacking their true measure in , their birthright. It is one thing to accept a condition as an individual, as a people, it is another to allow or nurture it’s existence as legacy to pass on.
A patriot? an advocate? well and good-be one, but know what it is you would fight for-and in this always make it your commitment to stand for the things that are sacred-in doing so
your efforts will be defined as service or destruction, and the inheritance you leave will be a worthy one.
There has been destruction enough to now tolerate it at the hands of any among us-be they gangs, rapists, murderers, bloated politicians (tribal or otherwise), abusers of women and children, alcohol or substance users, and more importantly false prophets who would wrap themselves in the banner of the people and the blood of the ancestors.