How The West Was Lost


One of my favorite Pastors (Dave Bruce) while not a blogger, posts “ponderings” on his face book feed. Things that he thinks one might consider. I love them. In the spirit of “pondering” I decided I should figure out what it was to actual ponder. Was it a fleeting look at something, or was there more. So, as I do, I researched my answer.

gerund or present participle: pondering
  1. think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.
    “I pondered the question of what clothes to wear for the occasion”
    synonyms: think about, contemplate, consider, review, reflect on, mull over, meditate on, muse on, deliberate about, cogitate on, dwell on, brood on, ruminate on, chew over, puzzle over, turn over in one’s mind, overthink

    “she had time to ponder over the incident”

    Wow.. think before making a decision… what a novel Idea.

    Pondering is something I have been doing a lot of in the last weeks. Trying to look at all angels before making a conclusion. Its hard to do some time.

    As I have watched the events unfold in Harney County Oregon, I have found myself “pondering” the future. Perhaps due to being a new granny, but as my mind ping ponged back forth between one “truth” to another, I felt myself wonder what will the future tales be?

    I grew up in an era where T.V shared the tales of a wild west tamed by rugged good looking cowboys – Captions proclaiming, “How the West Was Won.’ Phrases were coined such as “the spirit of the west” that provoked us to feel free and reckless and able bodied to take on the unknown.

    But these days, in my ponderings…. I wonder, how different will the story be that my grandsons Isaiah and Rhett hear? Instead of How the West Was Won, will we telling them stories of How The West Was Lost?

    In truth; it isn’t a new story. We have to look no further than the elders at some of our local reservations should we need comfort in finding the words.

    As I recall my favorite western shows..their appeal of my childhood wanes just a bit. I can now see the other side of it. Those natives trying to hang on to the land, the life, and their God given freedoms. Much like today’s farmers and ranchers.

    I have often heard it said through out this Harney County ordeal, that somehow the plight of the native Americans and the American Ranchers are on opposite sides of the coin… enemies of sorts. Forces trying to keep them in conflict. But, truly are they not the same? In the old westerns are we not to believe that somehow these “savages” are bad, and “we” are good? The term “savage” now changed to Militia.

    In my pondering mind, the similarities are vastly greater, than are our differences. Both victims of a greedy government wanting the land, and grabbing it from off the backs of people being romanced by a cause, an ideal, or the promise of a better tomorrow, when in truth it isn’t what motivates those at the top driving the change.. and in most cases using public money to do it.. Telling us that it is our land.. public land… when perhaps the dirt is ours – unless of course there is a mineral in it that can be stripped and sold to the highest foreign buyer. Then somehow the land that was OURS remains, but the money that was harvested off of it seems to belong to some fat cat politician. Ponder that.

    Now before my liberal friends think this is just another tale about Cowboys and Indians…. can I get you to ponder something too? You know all that money that you are making….. Billions of dollars to protect the land and the wild horses and the grouse and the field mice and… you truly think that what hasn’t been done to Native Americans, Farmer’s, Ranchers, wont someday be shared with you, once the land is secured? and do you really believe that those well meaning causes will mean anything more to the government than say…. a father of 11? I suggest, not. It is like the rest, a means to their end.

    While we all stay busy fighting one another, debating what “we the people” Coulda Shoulda, Woulda, done better. Or turn our eyes away, saying this is just them, it doesn’t apply to me.. I offer up this. Perhaps we need to get back to the business of being, “we the people.” Black, Brown, Yellow, Red, White…. and every other color that represents us. And make the hard decisions to stop allowing Big Brother to make them for us. We are adults after all. It seems to me, that while we all have a story, there is truly only one Human Condition and much of what has been wrong with the world has come at the hands of us acting like snotty, over indulgent siblings hoping that “mommy and daddy” love us best, and show it by whatever special interest we represent.

    It would seem that it is past time to roll up our sleeves, lock arms, and find creative solutions that truly leaves our beloved lands in the hands of a free public. It is going to take some hard work from all of us. We are going to need to be willing to look under rocks to find the truth, we are going to need to be able to put our interests aside and listen to all parties and find solutions where we all get some of what we want while giving others as much as we can.

    We the people have gotten lazy and in our laziness we look on as spectators and assess the “plays” from a lazy boy recliner as if it is someone else’s problem. And, sadly gotten away with it for way to long..  now we are at a cross roads of whether we saddle up and ride, or we simply figure out how we are going to look our grandchildren in the eyes and tell the tale of How the west was lost. Just pondering.


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