Two Divergent Meanings of Life: Can they be reconciled?

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Meaning of life, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 2 (481 words) Published: October 14, 2013
In this paper I will evaluate two divergent views on the meaning of life. These views are a traditional American Indian saying that goes “Leave the earth as you found it” versus a modernistic American view that goes “make your mark on the world.” I will argue that although these views on the meaning of life offer two very different meanings on how one should live their life, they are both compatible with each other. Thus both meanings can be reconciled. Firstly, I’ll begin by examining the traditional American Indian argument on the meaning of life showing the strengths and weakness of this argument. Then, I will lay out the modernistic American argument also showing its strengths and weakness. By comparing the virtue and vices of both arguments I will show that one can show respect to earth and all living things by leaving the earth as they found it whilst leaving a legacy or a mark on society. The traditional American Indian saying, “Leave the earth as you found it” is a perspective on life in which utmost respect and reverence is shown for mother earth and all living things. The natural environment that native American Indian lived in helped to shape the people's thinking and cultures as they viewed the world and the universe in a native perspective of a physical and metaphysical reality. The natural environment provided life to American Indians. It also took life. American Indians learned that working together, and hunting together, was extremely important. Living alone meant certain death. It was a hard life, taught by nature. The power of a natural disaster such as a tornado, a thunderstorm and its lightning, the pressing heat of a summer day, or the sweeping cold air made everyone to be acutely observant of the Earth. The native people learned from the Earth and the animals and plants. Everything fit together in this Universe as the Native Indians understood it, and everyone and everything had its role and responsibility. The view of “leaving the earth as...
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