“All good things.
Honey in the heart.
Thirteen thank yous.”
Tenderness, compassion, good over evil.
These are not traits I associate with the Mayans.
Thanks to Hollywood, I think of human sacrifices on huge altars.
The Aztecs wouldn’t win any prizes for goodness either in my world.
Doing what they’re told
Yet, after thinking about this and reading more about the Mayans, I had to rethink my opinion.
I don’t approve of human or animal sacrifice or other barbaric practices.
Yet, I have to consider that that the ancient Mayans were following the teachings of their spiritual leaders and the elders in their community.
How many of us have not wished others in our culture would do the same. Of course, following the guidelines with which we agree. After all, we are a nation of laws.
Then again, “just following orders” is often an excuse for immoral, evil behavior.
Too, as I consider the Inquisition, the Holocaust, the Bataan Death March, and many more atrocities, I don’t believe I can single out the Mayans for having a patent on cruelty.
Man’s inhumanity to man
Today our sacrifices of others thru genocide, warfare, and cruel government practices are often more subtle and yet, just as deadly.
Sometimes it is institutional and seemingly anonymous.
Sometimes it is the result of looking the other way.
Sometimes it is the product of never looking up from our desk at the bigger picture.
Our media is full of barbaric practices with victims enduring longer agony than a quick Mayan death on the altar.
These victims fall to the excess of power, religious fanaticism and other evils of our modern world.
They are at the wrong place at the wrong time.
They were born with the wrong color of skin.
They were taught and follow the wrong faith.
It is easy to congratulate ourselves on how far we have come.
To the people suffering and dying around the world this would ring hollow.
Honey in the heart…
*This quote was in the hotel literature at the Fairmont Mayakoba Resort in Cancun, Mexico.
Photo from Mexico Archeology
**Learn more Mayan History
I am excited to read this book about modern Mayans in Guatamala in the 1980s:
Long Life Honey in the Heart in which “Martín Prechtel continues the narrative of his unique life in Santiago, Atitlan in Long Life, Honey in the Heart, an eloquent memoir replete with the subtle intelligence and sophistication of Mayan culture. Set against the dramatic backdrop of Guatemala’s political upheaval in the 1980s, this heady mix of magic, humor, and spirituality immerses the reader in the experiences of Mayan birth, courting, marriage, childrearing, old age, death, and beyond, using the true story of Prechtel’s own family and friends.” from the Amazon website.
This post reminds me of why I love being a nerd. I saw a simple quote. I copied it. I thought about it and did a bit of reading. In doing so, I learned something. I discovered a new author whose books I can hardly wait to read. Best of all, I get to share this with my blogging buddies. Thank you!