Truth At The Speed Of Light
A traditional Lakota story about Truth
As told to me by Peter Brokenleg, of the Sioux First Nation
THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT
Long ago, before the Great Spirit put man on the earth, he decided to give humankind some very special gifts. But he did not want man to have these gifts before they were ready to appreciate them, and use them for the highest good. So the Great Spirit gathered all the animals to assist him in hiding the gifts, which they did.
After they had finished, the Great Spirit told the animals that he had one final gift for humans, the value of which was immeasurable, so they must find the perfect hiding place. One where mankind would not find this gift before they were ready to cherish it as much as life itself.
“Great Spirit, what is this gift that it is so important?” the animals asked. “It is Truth” replied the Great Spirit, “because no matter what he achieves in life, without Truth, it will all seem meaningless.”
The great Eagle came forward and said “I will hide it. I will fly to the top of the highest mountain and place it there.” The Great Spirit thought about it and said “No, man is tenacious. He will find a way to reach the top of the highest mountains, and perhaps before he is ready.”
Then the great Salmon spoke “I will carry Truth to the bottom of the deepest river.” “A good choice,” said the Great Spirit, “but man has an intense curiosity and he will no doubt devise a way to explore the river depths.”
A group of rabbits spoke next. “Give it to us Great Spirit, and we will burrow a tunnel way down into the earth and hide Truth there. Surely since man is made to live upon the earth he will not think to look underneath it!”
But the Great Spirit knew that man would forever look for ways to make his life more comfortable and would eventually dig down into Mother Earth to share in her resources.
A lively discussion continued through the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon until most thought they had exhausted all possibilities. And then, as the talk quieted a very tiny voice could be heard. It said “I know the best hiding place”.
The Great Spirit looked to where the voice came from and saw one of his smallest and least imposing creatures, the mole. “Where is this place?” he asked. The mole rose onto her hind legs to be heard better and said “The very best place to hide Truth is in man’s own heart, for that is the last place he will think to look.” The Great Spirit knew the mole to be right, and so it came to be.
Now no one really knows how the mole came to be so wise, but it is speculated that perhaps it was her deep connection to the Earth and that fact that since the moles’ eyes are blind and cannot see the external things of the world their sight is directed inward for their whole lives.