“Instead of hoping that others recognize their ongoing value, elders in my tradition honor their own potency, sacredness, rights and responsibilities.” Connie Buffalo, Member of the Chippewa Tribe
When I was notified of the Wisdom Summit with its great treasury of information being offered by minds and hearts – some of whose ideas I admire greatly – I took some time to listen.
I suppose I am a searcher. Life-long learner sounds better than malcontent so I’ll go with that. Any way you say it, I am constantly reading or listening to ideas about life: how to navigate the bumps, where someone else might have erected a warning sign, or even posted friendly tips about the joy around the corner…or behind a rock where I might miss it if no one gave me a hint.
Cherished personal mentors have guided me throughout my life. Some have provided the perfect words at the most crucial times. Others have lived by example, showing me by the fruits of their spirits what to cultivate in myself and what I might choose to prune out. When I look around me and notice that most of those who provided my guideposts have “walked on” from mind or body, I know that I must honor their gifts.
“To be an elder is a great accomplishment with the significant role of preparing a good world for the children of tomorrow.”
And although most of us are older than SOMEONE, there comes a time when our acceptance and wisdom is the most we have to offer. I deeply understand that my current role in life is to love and to be available emotionally and spiritually for what those around me may need. It’s the how of it that sometimes needs nurturing. It’s the shoring up of our reason for being and the letting go what is unnecessary.
Hearing the perspective of an ancient tribal community strengthens my resolve: “Passing on wisdom and insights, then, is part of the responsibility of the elder, but certainly not all of it. It also includes knowing that one is a sacred being living in a sacred, precious world. Quite different from the Western concept of “retiring,” this awareness invites the experience of the elder to be respected and put into action for as long as possible.”
Thank you, Connie Buffalo, for coming along at a time when I needed to hear the echo of the elders who have gone before me.