A Shaman of the Native American tradition told me a personal story I feel is pertinent today. After flying many missions in Vietnam, he was given a two-week leave to Australia. Once there, he developed a friendship with a woman who soon introduced him to her father. He and the father became friends sharing personal stories. On the day he was to catch the plane back to Vietnam, the father gave him a map of the last dragon’s tooth located somewhere in the Bering Sea. Because of the possibility of actually being a dragon’s tooth, he decided to keep it.
After his tour of duty was completed in Vietnam, the Shaman decided to put an application in as a marine biologist, forgetting about the map handed him in Australia. After being employed, he soon found himself on an American Trawler analyzing data from the ocean floor.
He told of being transferred to a Japanese ship that was also sweeping the ocean floor. The Shaman had a roommate on the ship who spoke little English; The Rolling Stones recording was all they had in common. Soon after, his roommate came into their cabin carrying an object and laying it on a table. When he got closer to the thing, it turned out to be a dragon’s tooth. He remembered the map given to him by his lady friend’s father; he took it out of his duffle bag, and, sure enough, the tooth was found in the same vicinity depicted on the map.
As soon as he knew it was a dragon’s tooth, his mind would start intense chattering about what to do with the tooth. His thoughts would tell him to take the tooth to a museum; not only would the world know there lived a dragon, but he would become famous with all the money that being famous entails. Another voice said he should return it to the sea; it’s not yours to keep. After much deliberation, he dropped the tooth back into the water.
After four days, his roommate was carrying an object and laid it on the table once again. After looking at the thing, sure enough, it was the same dragon’s tooth. After realizing it was the exact tooth, he had seen two days ago; his mind once again played havoc with him; the thoughts were even more intense with the same messages. Take it to a museum, become famous; money would be no object, the world needs to know about this discovery. The other voice again stated, drop the tooth back to the sea; it does not belong to you. He said it was akin to an Angel and devil talking to him. Again, after much pondering, the Shaman decided to give it back to the sea. As soon as he did, the voice stated, you passed.
How does this story hold for our generation and generations to come? There will be many decisions that could affect one’s life between right and wrong. If one has a preponderance of greed, manipulation, control, and other factors, that individual will have to pay upon death and the next life. On the other hand, if one does good to others, that individual will enjoy the fruits of heaven and higher quality in the next life. This story has always stayed with me based on the decisions one makes. It is important to be true to yourself and be kind and loving to your fellow man.