Nature: Earth and Luther Standing Bear

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Mina Mehdi
Instructor Jones
Writing 121
8 November 2012
Summary and Response to “Nature” by Luther Standing Bear In the essay “Nature”, author Luther Standing bear emphasizes the origin of, and significant influence that nature has on the Lakota tribe, and how it is a part of their being, spirituality, and humbling presence. He observes and portrays his appreciation for nature, and places emphasis on the fulfillment he is able to feel from the beauty that abounds in his environment. The Indian also expresses awareness of an overlying spiritual feeling that exists throughout all of creation. Standing Bear explains that the ethics of the Lakota tribe revolve around being as close to Mother Nature as possible, and embracing it as a part of their being. “The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth” (Standing Bear, 53). He touches on the idea of a unifying community, and unity of life amongst the animals and the plants, the soil and the people. Standing Bear implies that he is a strong believer of animal’s rights, and his tribe made sure animals were treated as fairly as humans (54). The Lakota tribe focuses on more in-depth, life analysis and analogies that pertain to the earth and sun and the way the world works. He reflects on the idea that everything we share on this earth has personality of some sort, different from ours. Standing Bear argues that the culture of white people don’t appreciate nature the way that the Indians do, the reason being the way that they are brought up, and states that this appreciation “enriched Lakota existence” (55). He associates this ethnocentrism with the ideology that the Lakota tribe’s appreciation for nature begins with and is kindled from the age of innocence. Standing Bear juxtaposes the faith...
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