We seem to be living in an era fraught with many emergencies.
Some are more serious than others, some are more real than others and, depending on one’s point of view, pose potential catastrophes. From political upheaval and polarization to international affairs to climate issues that may render everything else moot, and on and on: if you are not concerned, you are not paying attention.
On the Pine Ridge Reservation in the heart of a brutal winter, with some food aid cut off owing to governmental issues, shortages of fuel for heat, massive unemployment and hopelessness, drug and alcohol problems, the emergencies closest to home are real, dangerous, and immediate.
Last October, we told you about the generous offer made by the non-profit Everybody Solar to raise funds to make the One Spirit Allen Youth Center a solar-powered facility. Successfully getting solar power for the youth center would free up needed funds to enhance the operations of the center, raise awareness about renewable energy among the Lakota, and help enable us to continue and broaden the operations of a vital safe place for Lakota youth to prosper.
Everybody Solar raises funds to help other non-profits get solar power to save operating funds and to make another step toward trying to save our rapidly changing climate.
We did it!
Allen Youth Center is going solar.
The Youth of Allen Give Back
We have previously shared the moving story of Allen's beginning high school students and their demonstration of wacantognaka (generosity) as they pitched in to clean and refurbish the town playground for those younger than them. Among the Oglala Lakota, wacantognaka is one of the four core values of their traditional culture. And it seems to be contagious.
One of the greatest values to the Oglala Lakota is wacantognaka (generosity).
The concept includes more than simply sharing with others. It includes as well showing kindness, compassion and sympathy towards other people and towards all of nature without a price tag, i.e. without the expectation of reward. The simple act of providing wacantognaka is its own reward, making the individual better and happier in life.
On Friday July 13, at the Allen Youth Center, a structure he caused to be built, John DuBray was honored by his community for daring to dream of a place for the youth of Allen and then making that dream come true.