I love reading old books. As Ecclesiastes 1:9 (KJV) tells us:
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
I like to think similarly about books and writing, there is nothing new that hasn’t been written about before. Remember the old quip “if you want a new idea, read an old book.”
Walking past my bookshelf today, on a whim and curiosity I picked up C. Fayne Porter’s “The Battle of the 1,000 Slain and Other Stories Selected from Our Indian Heritage.” Flipping through the pages I stumbled upon this passage from George Catlin’s Last Rambles Amongst the Indians of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes (London: 1868).
Given our current political climate rife with animosity, our seemingly increasing narcissism, the apparent disregard for our environment, and the overwhelming push towards the accumulation of wealth, and penchant for mindless entertainment; this excerpt hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe our Native American ancestors had it right. Their philosophy and world outlook definitely feels more comfortable to me. Of course this might be a romantic sentiment, and no doubt they had their own battles and weaknesses, but I find their view of life and the environment a little less self-destructive than that of our contemporaries.