Sunday, August 28, 2011

Barbarism and the Moral Code

Long before I ever heard of religion, or saw a white man, I had learned from an untutored woman the essence of morality. With the help of dear Nature herself, she taught me things simple but of mighty import. I knew God. 
I perceived what goodness is. I saw and loved what is really beautiful. Civilization has not taught me anything better! 
As a child, I understood how to give; I have forgotten that grace since I became civilized. I lived the natural life, whereas I now live the artificial. Any pretty pebble was valuable to me then; every growing tree an object of reverence. Now I worship with the white man before a painted landscape whose value is estimated in dollars! 
Thus we are reconstructed, as the natural rocks are ground to powder, and made into artificial blocks which may be built into the walls of modern society. 
(Charles Alexander Eastman Ohiyesa, 1911)