When I was a kid we were convinced that the USA was the greatest country in the world, not only that- in the HISTORY of the world! Then I started reading history. Not the schoolbook propaganda we were force fed as good little assembly line cogs and future cannon fodder, but stuff that included a wealth of facts and alternative viewpoints conveniently left out of our little textbooks. I read a couple of books about American Indians when I was 13 or 14 that included the perspective of the conquered ones. Whoa! Our European forebears hadn't just "tamed the wilderness", they actually slaughtered the original inhabitants and sytematically destroyed every Native culture they had in their power. Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the founders didn't really mean "..all men are created equal" but that all white males who owned property were equal-some more equal than others,depending on how much you owned. I learned that they didn't really care about taxation without representation; George Washington declared martial law and personally led an army to suppress a tax rebellion by Pennsylvalia farmers. Well, the list goes on. For a little perspective, read Vine Deloria Jr. or Howard Zinn or Bell Hooks. And then dream about what we actually might have become if our country had rejected genocide and slavery at the outset rather than embracing such evils for profit. Racism and violence are woven into the fabric of the US society and we will die of it if we don't rip out those threads and reweave.
e-qua yona, Cherokee for 'big bear' is the only nick name I've ever had, at least one I liked. One of my favorite ever students called me that when I taught for the Eastern Band Cherokee. It is Mato Tanka in Lakota.
I have lived a nomadic life and have enjoyed most of it so far.
Seeking balance with the universe or great mystery is what life oughta be about.