Scoutmaster Minute—Words Behind the Words

August 2, 2009

Crazy Horse Monument

Lakota medicine man Black Elk told John G. Neihardt, as related in the book Black Elk Speaks:

Crazy Horse’s father was my father’s cousin, and there were no chiefs in our family before Crazy Horse; but there were holy men; and he became a chief because of the power he got in a vision when he was a boy. When I was a man, my father told me something about that vision. Of course he did not know all of it; but he said that Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world. He was on his horse in that world, and the horse and himself on it and the trees and the grass and the stones and everything were made of spirit, and nothing was hard, and everything seemed to float. His horse was standing still there, and yet it danced around like a horse made only of shadow. That is how he got his name, which does not mean that his horse was crazy or wild, but that in his vision it danced around in that weird way.*

When we are out in our world we see names on things and the words are familiar so we may think we know what they mean. You may have been at Scout Camp or traveling in the Black Hills and seen the name Crazy Horse. An image may have come to your mind, based on what you think you know. As a Scout, we should strive to do better. As a Scout, Do Your Best to understand not just the words but the true meanings behind the words.

*Black Elk Speaks, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press Twenty-First-Century Edition, 2000, p.65.
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3 Responses to “Scoutmaster Minute—Words Behind the Words”


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