Thursday, June 22, 2017

Revenge or Avenge?

Avenge is a verb. To avenge is to punish a wrongdoing with the intent of seeing justice done. Revenge can be used as a noun or a verb. It is more personal, less concerned with justice and more about retaliation by inflicting harm.

"An Ojibwe community was battling with another group of Indians. The battle was not without people getting hurt and sometimes killed. In this one battle the brother of one of the Ojibwe warriors was killed by one man in the other group of Indians. The brother was sad and hurt by what happened to his brother. As it was his intent to avenge the death of his brother, he went into the groups camp and sought to challenge the man who killed his brother. The challenge was accepted. The two warriors started to battle each other. The Ojibwe Warrior had finally got the man down and was getting on top of him. The man then spit in the face of the Ojibwe Warrior. The Ojibwe Warrior stopped, got off of the man and walked out of the community. He did not strike the man who had killed his brother."
_________

There is so much ugly happening all over the world. In the Native world we are hurting and we have anger. A young woman is killed and just a couple days later a young man is killed. We are hurting and we are angry.  There is an Inquiry as to what has and is happening to Indigenous Woman in Canada and why are they going missing and being killed.  The Inquiry in its current state is not looking too promising for getting answers. People are sad hurt and angry.

The Governor General of Canada, the person who is suppose to represent the Crown just called the Indigenous people of Canada immigrants. Then he apologized by calling Indigenous property; "Our Indigenous people are not immigrants."  That is so funny. Because of how clueless this guy is.

The list of things indigenous people have endured and are faced with, is long. Just ask any Indian and they will tell you. There are the deeds done against them individually and there are things done broadly across our larger community.

So what do we do with all this hurt?  With the anger building up? In the US  the anger is played out by violence to those who they don't feel fit with their thinking and lives. The amount of racist attacks has just increased and become more visible by the White population. In Canada attacks of racism by Whites have become more visible as well.

That is not the way our people are going. They still don't get into the act of violence and revenge. Regardless of how much they feel it is their right.

So not sure if we can ever see the difference between avenging our ancestors and getting revenge?

Many of the feelings are very personal to us. We are emotionally invested in our families, friends, community and our heritage. So of course there is strong feelings to what happens to us.

I still carry much resentment and anger towards people who I think hurt my Son when he was alive. I used to think of how to get revenge on them. I would cause them so much pain if I should follow through on my thoughts. It didn't happen of course. Not that I didn't have the anger or the wherewithal to go on with it (after all anyone can be mean and inflict hurt). Its a battle in my heart: I want to be kind but yet know I have the ability to be mean. So its a battle.

There are many of us fighting a battle between revenge with those who wronged, and there are those who are avenging what has been done to us. I like those that are taking the anger out of their actions and doing things because it is the right thing to do.



Do you know what the Ogichidaa (Ojibwe Warrior) story reminds us of and illustrates? 


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