An interesting series of responses, well worth your time.

I recently posted a letter I wrote to the inmates in a woman’s prison in South Dakota in response to a request from their book club leader who had chosen one of my books for their next read. I knew when I wrote the letter that it would contain some land mines for you, my long time readers, if I were to post it in my blog.  So that’s what I did.  Here are some of the questions that were lurking in my mind that caused me to share it with you:

Is analogy a fair way to speak to another’s situation? Did my experience trivialize their experiences? Was I destined to be tarred with the “privileged white male” brush no matter what I wrote? Would you readers, more accustomed to seeing me write “consolations” rather than “inspirations” take offense at me stepping forward and offering advice? Would you be willing to accept me stepping into the role of direct teacher rather than the teaching role of fellow learner that I use in most of my books? Would you see my thoughts as an expression of empathy, which is something I take very seriously, or as unwarranted preaching?

Your responses brushed against all of these concerns. I’m writing this post to direct you to the “comments” section at the end of the last post so you can mull over this very interesting cyber conversation for yourself. If you haven’t read the original post, please do so before reading the comments.

I’m honored and gratified to have such an intelligent group of readers. I’m sure the post and the subsequent comments will provide food for thought for all of you. It certainly did for me.

So, thanks for sharing your insights.  My great hope is that the inmates themselves will be able to respond to the letter and to your comments.  The book club leader and I are working on this.  Whatever I get back I’ll share with you.  It would be a wonderful learning experience for all of us.

1 thought on “An interesting series of responses, well worth your time.”

  1. Mr. Nerburn,

    On 1/19/2015 the correspondence below was e-mailed to an address that in the passed I have had contact with you…usually receiving an acknowledgement. In the case of the text below, I was unsure if you had an opportunity to view it, and it is important to me that you do. I’m making another attempt to reach you with this communication, I hope it finds a way to you, and possibly lends support for your efforts as a good man and human being.

    Mr Nerburn,

    I was able to view Mr. Simpson’s completed film last month. He arranged an on-line viewing, and fortunately I was able to view it. I think the final product is profound, and left me yearning for the old days.

    I’m a very community oriented individual, for I know that is were my true value lies. The movie, and your publications, will help us get back there some day. I have dreamed of living life 250 hundred years ago, where my tears are of joy not of grief.

    I have an intense spiritual connection to life as it was designed to be. I’m able to gain strength and direction from you as a man, and your abilities to communicate. Your books, and Mr. Simpson’s film has given me an avenue to connect to our ancestors, and I’m humbled and grateful for the opportunity…thank you.


    In addition…a response to the SD women’s threads.

    Friend do it this way – that is,
    whatever you do in life,
    do the very best you can
    with both your heart and mind.

    And if you do it that way,
    the Power Of The Universe
    will come to your assistance,
    if your heart and mind are in Unity.

    When one sits in the Hoop Of The People,
    one must be responsible because
    All of Creation is related.
    And the hurt of one is the hurt of all.
    And the honor of one is the honor of all.
    And whatever we do effects everything in the universe.

    If you do it that way – that is,
    if you truly join your heart and mind
    as One – whatever you ask for,
    that’s the Way It’s Going To Be.

    Passed Down from White Buffalo Calf Woman

    “When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;
    when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage.
    So long as mists envelop you, be still;
    be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists
    – as it surely will.
    Then act with courage.”

    Ponca Chief White Eagle (1800′s to 1914)

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