Listening to the visiting elders toady I am reminded of the wealth of knowledge and experience that the senior members of our community hold. I have also been reminded of something an elder in my life conveyed to me. He said, “A funny thing about wisdom, no matter how much you want to or how hard you try you simply can’t just give it away.” Like many wise words, they may be heard long before being understood. Today I came to understand a little more about what he was getting at. I believe it meant that the the gift of wisdom is only a gift if there is someone waiting to receive it. Otherwise it was just simply words that were spoken.
Many thought provoking things were shared today when elders from the Tlingit community visited us and we were ready recipients. We were gifted with lessons in history, strategies for success, insight about the Tlingit language along with its deeper cultural implications, and more. The three most striking bits of information that I am taking away from this are:
- That of the recollection of a once forbidden language of an entire culture, nearly lost in a single life-time but now in recovery. How much meaning and emotion that experience can evoke.
- A way to cope with how you receive and respond to things around you. Reminding one’s self about the limits/boundaries between what you can and cannot control or how you are received.
- Most temporally relevant message. That of a people who are fed yet starving.
How these messages may resonate in my future as a teacher:
- A call to remember how social values shift, how swift and deep they can cut into a culture and bare its roots to the sun. What that exposures effect is, as expressed on a personal level from a first-person account.
- Well as the stress levels build I hope to recall the exercise, where I am compared to that line, everything else.
- The message that The People are starving for love reaches far beyond the smokehouse and far beyond the boundaries of the Tlingit. This message, need not simply be heard -but felt by everyone. Kusaxa’n
One thought on “Elder Wisdom”
“A funny thing about wisdom, no matter how much you want to or how hard you try you simply can’t just give it away.”
– Yup. I think about all the things my mom and dad said that I never agreed with and discounted out of hand. A few, maybe more than a few, I still don’t agree with. But a lot of them I’ve found to be more true than not as I’ve gotten older.
I think that part of is that a very young person (at least me as a young person) tends to see the world as they wish it to be, while an older person has the context to differentiate a simple wish for a thing that never can be from a legitimate hope for change. To me legitimate hope is something that isn’t, but could actually be – it has roots in the real world. But only age brings us that kind of perspective, I think. You kind of echo this when you wrote:
“A way to cope with how you receive and respond to things around you. Reminding one’s self about the limits/boundaries between what you can and cannot control or how you are received.”