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Mazatec Indians

For the past forty years Eunice Pike has worked with the Mazatec Indians in Southwestern Mexico. During this time she has discovered some interesting things about these beautiful people. For instance, the people seldom wish someone well. Not only that, they are hesitant to teach one another or to share the gospel with each other. If asked, “Who taught you to bake bread?” the village baker answers, “I just know,” meaning he has acquired the knowledge without anyone’s help. Eunice says this odd behavior stems from the Indian’s concept of “limited good.” They believe there is only so much good, so much knowledge, so much love to go around. To teach another means you might drain yourself of knowledge. To love a second child means you have to love the first child less. To wish someone well—“Have a good day”—means you have just given away some of your own happiness, which cannot be reacquired.

Bernie May, “Learning to Trust,” Multnomah Press, 1985