In my youth I respected the world and life, I needed not anything but peace of heart;
And yet I changed despite myself and believed in Iktumi’s lies. He seemed to know all the truth, he promised to make me happy.
He made me ask Wakantanka for wealth, that I might have power; I was given poverty, that I might find my inner strength.
I asked for fame, so others would know me; I was given obscurity, that I might know myself.
I asked for a person to love that I might never be alone; I was given a life of a hermit, that I might learn to accept myself.
I asked for power, that I might achieve; I was given weakness, that I might learn to obey.
I asked for health, that I might lead a long life; I was given infirmity, that I might appreciate each minute.
I asked Mother Earth for strength, that I might have my way; I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for Her.
I asked to live happily, that I might enjoy life; I was given life, that I might live happily.
I received nothing I asked for, yet all my wishes came true. Despite myself and Iktumi, my dreams were fulfilled.
I am richly blessed more than I ever hoped, I thank you, Wakantanka, for what you’ve given me.
-Billy Mills , Oglala Lakota (1938-)