By BROOKLYN BROWN
One Feather Reporter
In second grade, in Mrs. Herbert’s class at Cherokee Elementary School, there was a day where I decided to write in detail everything that happened in class that day and report it to the class. I was a shy kid, but my classmates and teachers were very supportive and receptive of my report. I realized then that I liked reporting. I liked telling stories and sharing them with others, and others appreciated it as well.
In the short time that I’ve been working at the One Feather, I’ve had very similar experiences to second grade. In the community, I’ve had people come up to me and let me know that they’ve read my articles, or they’ve enjoyed my commentaries or pictures. Sgi, thank you. I enjoy being able to contribute in a small way to the history of our people, the records of our community.
Dr. Sara Snyder Hopkins, Cherokee Language program director at Western Carolina University, is working with fluent speakers Tom Belt and Wiggins Blackfox to translate the writings of Will West Long and Inoli, Blackfox’s ancestor. Long and Inoli wrote extensively about everyday life in Cherokee, NC. They recorded everything from community meetings to the weather. Everything they wrote contributes to our history, and our ability to learn from the Cherokee community of the late 19th, early 20th century. Their work is very important; the community appreciates it, and so do I.
The interactions I’ve had in person in the community have, at times, been vastly different than what can be read in comments on Facebook. Facebook seems to be the place where the most insecure, unhealed parts of a person’s mind decide to unleash. Sociologists study the reason that psychologically, people feel more comfortable, and even find gratification in, forming attacks online. We know that it’s easier, of course, to confront someone online than in person. The threat is different.
Even so, I feel that many of the ludicrous comments on anything the One Feather puts up are outlying opinions compared to the overwhelming support I find in the community. We spend so much of our time online, and valuing the opinions of what we see online. Online is such a different world from the real world, from real human interaction. Even people who have disagreed with me, approach me with respect and human decency in person.
I guess my point is, talk to the community in person. The world, and people, seem devastatingly negative online. In the community, I find something very different, and I bet you do, too.
That’s not to say that this world doesn’t have darkness, because it certainly does, but I believe that the people of this community are kind, honest and real. I value our conversations in person, and I appreciate your decision to choose human interaction in a world that is increasingly moving online.