Every now and then you come across something that sums up the dreams and hopes you have in such a way that you know you can’t say it any plainer than that. The following passage is from Leonard Peltier’s book My Life is My Sundance. It is remarkable that after years of being unjustly imprisoned that he still has these dreams and hopes that encompass all people not just his situation. I feel I would be inconsiderate if I did not share with you some of his writings. Though this should be in a book review the nature of his writing makes it tailor-made for an editorial. If we all can capture some of what he feels and thinks as well as making it part of our lifestyle then the world will be a better place.
“Out of death comes life. Out of pain comes hope. This I have learned these long years of loss. Loss, but never despair. I have never lost hope or an absolute belief in the rightness of my cause, which is my People’s survival.
“I don’t know how to save the world. I don’t have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for ‘all’ of Earth’s inhabitants, none of us will survive — nor will we deserve to.
“The future, our mutual future, the future of all the peoples of humanity, must be founded on respect. Let respect be both the catchword and the watchword of the new millennium we are now all entering together. Just as we want others to respect us, so we need to show respect to others.
“We are in this together — the rich, the poor, the red, the white, the black, the brown, and the yellow. We are all one family of humankind. We share responsibility for our Mother the Earth and for all those who live and breathe upon her.
“I believe our work will be unfinished until not one human being is hungry or battered, not a single person is forced to die in war, not one innocent languishes imprisoned, and no one is persecuted for his or her beliefs.
“I believe in the good in humankind. I believe that the good can prevail, but only with great effort. And that effort is ours, each of ours, yours and mine….
“The struggle is ours to win or lose.”
— Excerpt from Leonard Peltier’s, “My Life Is My Sundance”