Be Thankful Every Day
Nov 29, 2011
Like many Lakota people, I do not single out one day a year to give thanks. Many of us offer morning prayers every day, seven days a week, every single day of the year. Some of us offer prayers at noon, prayers over food, prayers before meetings or other events, prayers at night and even say lots of special prayers when we feel the need. When I hear people praying they always give thanks for many things.
I am also thankful for the air I breathe and the food I eat. Mother Earth is so good to us but we often take her for granted. Also, I believe it is very important that every time I drink or use water I give thanks for it. We must remember there are parts of the world where people do not have access to the good water or food which we have. I am also appreciative of fire, which heats our homes and cooks our food.
I am also extremely thankful for my Lakota ancestors because without them I would not be who I am today. I am thankful for the Lakota children who have given me great inspiration and encouragement in many ways. I am thankful for the Lakota medicine men, spiritual leaders, and the Lakota pipe carriers. I am especially thankful for our young men and women who have taken the time to perfect their talent as Lakota ceremonial, Native American Church and wacipi singers.
I am deeply appreciative of my Lakota culture because it has taught me to be grateful. I have learned to feel appreciation for every minute of every day because I realize that life is short. I do not want to devote my time to people who are not thankful for anything in their lives.
Finally, I encourage you to never take anything for granted. The gifts or people you enjoy today could be gone tomorrow. Learn to live in the moment because I believe it is the only way to find true joy in our lives. Rejoice in each sunrise; give thanks each morning to the Creator for gifting you a new day of life. Enjoy your family and friends while you still can. Be thankful every day of your life.
Vi Waln is Sicangu Lakota and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Her columns were awarded first place in the South Dakota Newspaper Association 2010 contest. She can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org