The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.— Luther Standing Bear
The most off-limits Luther Standing Bear quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
The man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization.
The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged.
"Civilization" has been thrust upon me since the days of the reservations, and it has not added one whit to my sense of justice, to my reverence for the rights of life, to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity, or to my faith in Wakan Tanka, God of the Lakotas.
Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library.
Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue.
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth as wild. Earth was beautiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.
Silence is the Mother of Truth, for the silent man was ever to be trusted, while the man ever ready with speech was never taken seriously.
The old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man's heart away from nature becomes hard.
The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.
Today the children of our public schools are taught more of the history, heroes, legends, and sagas of the old world than of the land of their birth, while they are furnished with little material on the people and institutions that are truly American.
Only to the white man was nature a 'wilderness'.
For the Lakota there was no wilderness.
Nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly.
Certain small ways and observances sometimes have connection with large and more profound ideas.
White men seem to have difficulty in realizing that people who live differently from themselves still might be traveling the upward and progressive road of life.
Training began with children who were taught to sit still and enjoy it.
They were taught to use their organs of smell, to look where there was apparently nothing to see, and to listen intently when all seemingly was quiet. A child who cannot sit still is a half-developed child.
After all the great religions have been preached and expounded, man is still confronted with the Great Mystery.