The Importance of Speaking Up


Power seems to be contagious these days. It seems to be the element that drives everyone. People are so focused on power, money and success that they forget about the real things that matter. Maybe I am just nostalgic for the simple things in life. Nostalgic for something easy that money cannot buy. I am nostalgic for the smell of honeysuckle on a warm summer day; of picking berries with friends; of puddle jumping in the rain; or enjoying a beautiful sunrise.

Recently, I read an article about our state’s current drinking water. The article basically stated that California’s drinking water may be contaminated because our state regulators have allowed oilfield dumping into federally protected aquifers. Oil companies state that the dumping is convenient because when they drill, 13 gallons of wastewater comes up for every gallon of petroleum. One of the easiest things is to send the waste water back into the ground. The federal government now demands that state officials do more to find these contaminations and deal with them, but it is simply too late to do anything once the contamination is found. High levels of salt and contaminants can ruin our water aquifers for drinking or watering crops and livestock.

Now, let me get this straight. Water is the essence of everything. We grow our food with it, we cook with it, we bathe with it and most of all we drink it. Why would anyone be okay with messing with the integrity of water? Especially their citizens’ drinking water? Something that is part of our essence of life should have more rights. I mean we work so hard to maintain property rights, territory rights, and even land rights. But, we fall short of maintaining the essence and purity of something that we put in our bodies and the bodies of our animals (the one’s that we eat and don’t).

This article reminds me of something similar I read in Indian Country Today, which talked about the contamination of water in Indian Country (reservations) in certain parts of North America. I hope this is not a growing trend. But, I think that I will find some way to make my opinion heard about this. After all, things that cannot speak up for themselves should be fought for by those who can.

The attached piece talks about the responsibility of speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves; the responsibility of using your voice to speak out for something that you believe in.
















Not a Name



Every space

Every matter in the world contains a beat

A spark of something alive

A sense of something special and unique


Water is renewed by the rain

Sunshine is given by the sun

Air is given by the trees

Plants are formed by the nutrients in the ground, and

The Earth is alive under your feet


They are the songs sung within our hearts

The words flowing within our veins

Beating a rhythm of genuine connection

Reminding us of our responsibility

Reminding us of our voices


They sing about peace and harmony

They sing about love and companionship

They sing about the importance of giving

 They sing about leaving something behind for the next generation


They tell you that it’s not about creating a name for yourself

They say a name can be changed like the direction of the wind

Thrown out or discarded like trash in a bin

They teach you that it’s about walking a path

Where others might want to follow

Creating a footing

A trail of breadcrumbs that your child can walk behind


It’s about being a leader when the time calls

A person who can walk their own path

A person who can speak about struggle

A person who can make change with their voice


It’s about being a follower

When a good path has been formed

A leader in their own right,

Will walk behind truth before standing in its way


A leader in their own right does not choose to waste time

They are not about wasting time on a name.

There is no point to wasting time on that.

When a name can be changed as easily as the clothes on your back.

It’s not about wasting time on being a color

Not going to waste time on that.

It’s not about wasting time on trying to be something

I’m much better than that.


It’s not about wasting time on being rich

Not going to waste time on that.

It’s not about wasting time on being like everyone else

I’m more original than that.


It’s about the struggle and where it brought you. 

It is about being hopeful and what that makes you

It is about being honest and how that frees you

It is about being truthful and how it can redeem you.


Names can be said in many different ways

How can they hold us down and define us

Colors can be painted in many different hues

How can they hold us down and define us

Money can be earned in many different ways

How can it hold us down and control us?


A beat is laid in each and every one of us

Thump, thump

Thump, thump

It is our connection to each other

It is the universal sound that we should follow


The universal sound that drives us,

That helps teach us

That helps define us

And that helps us strengthen and grow into we are meant to be.










Published by Kristen Debler