Compassion

Compassion

Author


Sydney & Jack

12th of July, 2017

Travel Journal


Pine Ridge '17

Compassion encompasses our entire trip; it is present in our group and in the Lakota people. The twelve of us were brought together by a common feeling of compassion for the Lakota. The healing camp and Anpo Wicahpi (Morning Star) Pine Ridge Girl’s School would not be possible without the endless compassion of the Lakota people, such as Ethleen, Buzz, and Cindy. On the first day, Ethleen showed great compassion by telling us that trauma and misfortune are not unique to Lakota people, everyone has experienced their own adversity. This idea is summed up by a quote from Nelson Mandela, “Our human compassion binds us to one another -not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learned how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” The mutual recognition of suffering bonded us with Ethleen and the Lakota people. Throughout the entire week, we saw constant acts of compassion. The camp directors, such as Saige, completely dedicated themselves to creating an effective and fun camp for the children. Although they have experienced their own trauma, the adults are able to keep their compassion and put the children first. Several teenage Lakota girls made a constant effort to talk to us and make us more comfortable in the beginning stages of our trip. During the ceremonies, Lakota people would inform us on what was happening when we were confused. The Lakota are naturally compassionate people. While building the tipi, we learned that when a visitor would enter a tipi, the host would give the visitor their best food and anything else they needed, like new shoes. Compassion fueled our trip and compassion continues to fuel healing camps and better school systems and, most importantly, compassion fuels hope.

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