I have rarely heard my elders speak like this. It floors me to hear such rich words from this small Tligit council of Elders. Perhaps that which stands out the most is that the ancient food is love and we are starved from it. Instead many of us are consumed with calling each other names and putting each other down.

Somehow I feel like I know deep down inside it is because of the lack of community (tribe) which our culture affords us. Nuclear families just don’t cut it. We in our western culture are starved for love in so many ways: conversation, touch, deep meaningful relationships. No one person can satisfy all our needs. We are longing for deep human interaction, a feeling of being with our kin in our clans. We don’t have that in our culture. So we try and make up for that in what ever way we can. Our nature still speaks loudly in our modern lives.

Some other words that were spoken which I hope not to forget:
-The disciplines are not isolated from each other; they are interconnected.
-You have to know your students well to be able to teach them.
-Each of us is precious and noble.
-You can only control how you receive what someone else says to you and what you say to them, not what they say nor how they receive it.
-Plant seeds in your students by telling them how awesome they are so they can grow.
-You are a human being and intelligent.
-There is nothing you can’t learn.
-We all live in one and only one world; it is in the here and now.

I am fortunate to have these words bestowed upon me, so, Gunalcheesh to you dearest Elders.

4 thoughts on “Gunalcheesh”

  1. Tyson,
    I liked a lot of the “words spoken you hope not to forget.” Many of these items speak directly to teachers-especially “There is nothing you can’t learn.” If we believed there were things we couldn’t learn or do, how could we teach our students that they could do anything? These are important notes to remember for our self as well as our students.

  2. Tyson,

    Thanks for this post. And I totally agree with you on so much of it. Especially in that so many people are starved of human touch, comfort, ceremony– and in general feelings of ‘culture and belonging’ in a Western world.

    Thank you for making the list of points/tips you will take away. It was good to look back and reflect on those. I, too, want to take those words with me in the years to come.


  3. I remember one of the dearest times of my youth was when my grandmother’s 5 children and most all of my 8 cousins would gather together in Pennsylvania for holidays. I completely agree with you about that feeling of longing for a tribe, for a larger, stable, social unit that we can be a part of.

    I think recent technological innovations have been very atomizing. The ease of transportation means we don’t have to interact with our neighbors. Just get in your car and drive by them. I remember, when I was a kid, I knew my neighbors. Almost no one where I’m from knows their neighbors anymore.

    We have tv (etc) to entertain us, so we can sort of semi-fill the longings of our soul for human interaction and company with that one-sided medium. Cellphones and the internet atomize us further. In connecting us to everything in an artificial way, we lose something genuine and powerful and true about place.

    I think your insight is right. Inside of many (all?) of us there is that longing to be in a village or in a tribe, where you are known deeply and surrounded by those who (hopefully) love you.

    Excellent post, sir!

  4. Tyson-Thank you for recalling David’s words about being starved for love. He has shared a great amount of wisdom with us over the past few weeks. Reading back through these posts has allowed me to see how much influence he has truly had on all of us. Thank you for you post!

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