The Lakota Way

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The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Learning. Joseph M. Marshall III. Penguin Books. October 2002. 240.

The Lakota Way by Joseph M. Marshall III is a reflective and thoughtful depiction of how the Lakota people and their spiritual beliefs can be used as a guiding principle in leading a fulfilling and significant life. Marshall uses stories he has attained throughout his lifetime, mostly from his grandfather, to emphasize the importance of twelve main facets of life. These twelve facets are: humility, perseverance, respect, honor, love, sacrifice, truth, compassion, bravery, fortitude, generosity, and wisdom. Throughout each chapter pertaining to these traits, Marshall uses his stories to apply them to everyday life and to gain a sense of respect for his elders. In his introduction, Marshall states, “The stories I heard and learned provide lessons that I can apply in the present; but they also connect me to the past—to a way of life that has endured far longer than I can imagine—and to the people who walked the land and left old trails to follow” (Marshall xii). This testimony by Marshall really portrays the amount of respect he has for the Lakota people and how much he cherishes their spiritual beliefs and values.

I have a lot of respect for Marshall as an author and as a person. It is easy to determine the truth and meaning he has behind his words and stories. There is a great sense of compassion felt his beliefs and values in his writing. If each trait is actualized the way it is supposed to be, a rewarding life will be achieved. The only thing I disapproved of The Lakota Way was Marshall’s way of reflection. He would stop in the middle of a story and indicate his own personal view of why something happened then jump right back into the details. I feel if Marshall wouldn’t have jumped around so much and reflected on each short story as a whole, it would have been more effective. Overall Marshall wrote very effectively and I enjoyed each life lesson...
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