On kindness and simplicity. What happened to us?

We followed a tour guide for the First Nations part at the Museum in Vancouver last March, and the guide said at some point “The stories, are the most treasured thing the clans had.”

So I wonder, why did the government banned their potlatches at some point in their history, when these were a celebration in their villages?  I don’t believe they were hurting anything, but instead just making the tribe and families closer to each other.  What happened to us to believe this was not something good for the nation and their community, for the people?  For history?

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When did we loose the telling of stories in our families in gatherings?   How come we have become so individualistic that there is no need to gather with neighbors and friends to celebrate the changing of the seasons or the times when we need each other, helping each other, or to celebrate?  Sometimes a good thing, but I believe many times would be good to act more as a group, be aware of our neighbors next door, or across town or across the country and even across the world.

How come we took the lives of thousands of innocent buffaloes so that the native americans would starve to death and be obligated to move?  How come we get greedy and use up the resources without thinking of what we’ll leave to our children and grandchildren, or the neighbor next to us?  What happened to what the coastal tribes did years ago when they fished enough salmon to survive through the winter and leave enough for the clans and tribes below, down the river from them?

When did we turn our lives to feel better when we own things?  When material stuff is how we describe someone’s richness?

When did we change to become so materialistic that we have to have much bigger houses than we ever have in history? I know studies show that the size is going down these past few years, but from about 950 sq ft in the 50’s to over 2,300 sq ft in 2010, seems like a huge amount of space for one family.  And I believe, today, we don’t live with bigger families than before.  I know some of us need bigger homes so we can fit everything we own or want to own.  But is that the way we should live?

How come we compete with one another on the better car or the better clothes instead of sharing what we have together, as a village, as a community?  Can we celebrate together and share instead?

How come our kids need TV’s and video games in their bedrooms so they can feel connected and have fun instead of having relationships with persons, in real life?  The average for American kids between the ages of 2 and 5 is to watch almost 4 hours per day.  That seems to be a lot of TV time for someone so young.  For anybody really, in my opinion, of course.

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And I believe it’s not just me thinking this, because I see a trend, and there’s lots of people working on changing how our children are growing up.

The National Wildlife Federation says kids spend as much as 7 hours in front of a screen, but only about 30 minutes of uninstructed time playing out of doors, per day.  That is crazy!

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Why is it that as a culture we don’t see our kids being out of doors the common thing anymore?  Why does it have to be more complicated?  Why is it that our kids and parents today need to have an i-something connected to them most of the time?  If it’s not to their hands it’s to their ears, or both.  Can we still connect with each other like we used to?  In person, talking.  How come we can’t be telling and sharing stories instead of listening music, watching a movie or playing games or texting, from a plastic handheld device?

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No WiFi Zone in Amsterdam

Maybe this is a good way to start to go back to our roots…. or actually it’s not even that far back.  Just a few years back.

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Thoughtfulness, niceness, kindness, simplicity.  I think these are the words that come up in my family as goals in our days more often than any others.  We want to have more of these.  I want us to do more about this.  As a family.  As a community.  It doesn’t have to be big, show-off-y things.  Just something small.  Be more thoughtful.  Be nicer.  Be kinder.  To each other, and also to those we don’t know but we cross our paths with, even sometimes unnoticed.

Just wondering… what happened.

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