Tahoe Pine Nuts: Humility shall prevail or my name’s not Jim Thorpe | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Pine Nuts: Humility shall prevail or my name’s not Jim Thorpe

I’ve always admired athletes, probably because they have a gift I never had. I was the guy who threw the chalkboard erasure at Kathy Stafford in the 6th grade, missed, and hit Mr. Burnham in the head, subsequently providing me with an invitation to meet our principal as they carried my desk into his office.

The first book I checked out of our school library was, “The Jim Thorpe Story.” I fell in love with “The Jim Thorpe Story,” and I fell in love with reading.

But I didn’t just read about Jim Thorpe, I became Jim Thorpe, a Fox Indian, whose real name was “Wa-Tho-Huk,” or “Bright Path,” which I adopted as a secret name for myself.

As I matured (some subscribe “matured” as debatable) and moved along in life, I had many disappointments and a few minor achievements. Whenever I failed I asked myself, “Wa-Tho-Huk?!” and then answered, “Remember — Bright Path!”

So that’s how I got along in life through thick & thin, until here lately, when my bearings went slightly askew.

I attributed this foreign feeling in my own land to old age, being 511 years old now in dog years, though still a puppy in tree years. In truth, I started feeling uncomfortable in my own American skin.

I watched with apprehension as our new president sat in a pew at the National Prayer Service with his arms crossed upon his chest. I’m not an expert in body language, but crossed arms at a prayer service is akin to a yawn, and says, “Get me out of here!”

Being a curious sort, I examined our new president’s signature, and though not an expert on handwriting analysis, I found it to closely resemble the Loma Prieta earthquake as recorded on a San Francisco Richter Scale.

And once again, I had to ask my inner-self, “Wa-Tho-Huk?!” Manner tells us almost as much as matter.

To get to my point, Tom Brady is now the Jim Thorpe of America’s 21st century, deservedly so. And it’s quite all right and natural for New England football fans to regale in being number one for the year 2017, and be proud.

But for our new president to crow to the world, “America First!” Well that is placing love of nation ahead of love of humanity, and that just ain’t right. I find myself asking, “Wa-Tho-Huk?!”

And as always, my answer is, “Bright Path!” Humility is the answer. A really smart person once wrote, “The meek shall inherit the Earth.” I like to believe that.

Jim Thorpe won both the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics. King Gustav of Sweden, upon presenting the gold medals, told him, “Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world.” To wit Thorpe responded, “Thanks, King.”

We will eventually stop insisting on, “America First,” and start remembering that love of nation should never supersede love of humanity. Humility shall prevail or my name’s not Jim Thorpe.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.

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