Greetings. I love sending out these tips for many reasons. One of which is the responses I receive. Here is an email from someone who has personal history with Standing Rock. Very heartfelt!
From Frost Freeman on Standing Rock
Dear Michael —
Reading your words this morning, I realized I was so happy about the news I received yesterday, that the Army Corps of Engineers has withdrawn the permit for the pipeline. This whole few months I’ve been glued to the Standing Rock news (our farm was 90 miles south, and flooded by the Corps for a dam in ’52; my great aunt ran a trading post for the Lakota; and I’ve spent my whole adult life weaving these cultures into a life for myself…) I’m just so brimming with joy and gratitude, I have to talk about it. In addition to the illegal and cruel things that were done, the good news has consistently outweighed the bad. How many times has a protest been matured into a prayer camp? How often, since Ghandi, have a people kept up a nonviolent response to confrontation for nearly a year, every day? How many times have tens of thousands come to put their bodies in the camp, on the line; have hundreds of thousands sent money for food, firewood and legal fees and joined at home in the prayerful foundation requested.
It’s not only the stopping of this particular pipeline that I consider such good news. It’s that this many people, around the world, will act for each other in a nonviolent and prayerful way, for months. Even differing religions, for God’s sake, who have been at each others’ throats for centuries until so very recently — some still doing it. Even military veterans (I couldn’t believe it!), who brought their skills and experience, but left their weapons at home, being willing to step up into a new level of what it means to protect and serve. Wowowow! This seems like a tectonic move in human development, to me at least.
My latest favorite story of just a few days ago is this: The Morton County ND police who were out at Standing Rock sent out a call for supplies — granola bars, power drinks, socks and gloves. The Standing Rock heard it, and packed several boxes carefully full of everything they had asked for (except the power drinks — “It’s not good for them”, they said, “Pure water is the real power drink!”). They drove it to the police station in Bismarck and handed them all over to the police on duty. They were thanked.
At almost 69, I look back and realize that there has been dark news all my life, including some that looked like the world was teetering on the brink, and maybe it was. But to the right and left of this news has always been an ongoing parade of people doing courageous, imaginative, things that have been weaving together a higher version of what it means to be human. I’m going on and on, I know, but that’s how I am today.
Thanks for listening!