Manataka® American Indian Council



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Grandfather Robert Gray Hawk Coke Speaks















I feel a need to expand on what I wrote in last month's column, "Is There a Worldwide Food Shortage?"


As I stated last month, we have several ways to approach these uncertain times. When we don’t have all the information to make our decisions, we tend to decide that it is” too much of a mystery.”  If the picture seems too big and complicated or scary to understand, we hope that somebody else will figure it all out for us. Yet when I look back, I have  often felt that others have not done a good job at solving our problems. I now take what facts I have and try to work things out one day at a time, as opposed to those who stick their heads in the sand, denying that the problems exist.


I am always looking  for some kind of plan.  Let me be clear.  I do not have the answer for anyone else because I believe that one size does not fit all. 

I will, however offer suggestions as to what you might do to find your own answer.


Whenever our personal world becomes uncertain or starts to rattle (comes unglued), we have a tendency to grab whatever seems solid and hold on with a death grip. The growing tension of opposing forces and conflicting opinions can be very frightening. We want the complexities of life to be simplified by somebody else to the lowest common denominator. Yet, this works for a while only.


Problems come when we ask or allow others to tell us what to think. This reduces the world to fixed ideas and rigid dogmas while isolating out the extremes of thought and belief. Two parts of this thinking often oppose each other. One side relies on positivism and its belief of science, figures and facts. One problem with this realism (literalism) is the loss of free imagination. The other side insists upon fundamental religious beliefs, often rejecting facts or at least altering them and expecting the problems to end shortly. 


Let me introduce what I call “normalize  bias.” This I use when a like-minded group shares a collective thought or belief that some event is taking place but it well never involve them. We humans do not like change anyway, and when the change is forced upon us, we really don’t  like it. Any new beginning brings out the uncertainly of the future.


Let me give an example of “normalize bias.” Look at history In the 1930s  in Germany, The Jews saw what was happening in the other countries to those of their religion.   The German Jews did not think it could happen to them because they were so well established. The few who believed it could happen left as soon as they could. These few had a plan, and they used their plan to escape.


I urge you to always create a plan for anything you are involved in.  For example, when I was living in Europe, I was asked to join a team of race drivers. My buddy and co-driver taught me to always have a plan in case something  should happen on the course. Not all of the team thought it was necessary to check the course out ahead of time. Our group would go to the raceway and if not walk it, we would drive it slowly and plan an escape route  at possible ‘surprise places.’  Nothing happens as you would expect but I feel your mentality can make adjustments  if needed because you have some preparedness.  Several times I relied on what I saw on the inspection tour. I KNOW it was worth it. So I  make myself have a plan.


Other thoughts that I use are just phrases, depending on the problem at hand.  Let me give you some examples:


            They can bloody me but they can’t eat me.

            History shows me that it always looks much larger looking forward than it really is  after it has happened

          There are only two emotions: Love and Fear.


My thoughts on fear are;

F = false

E = evidence

A = appearing

R = real


Listen to the small voice in your gut before you decide whether to run or to fight. Once you are in fear, you will not think clearly, and your choices may be wrong.


In closing, I restate: there is not one answer for all of us, but I hope you will find some help in what I have offered.  Some of my friends in their research feel that these times are here for a long time. I hope not, but they may be correct.