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Wisdom from the Native American Tradition

We were so thrilled to have Red Turtle at One World last week! As always, he was wise, funny, and inspiring.

He brought with him several friends who drummed and sang – what great music! Our favorite moment came at the end, when Red Turtle invited our kids to come up and join him on his drum – they loved it and so did we!

In his talk, Red Turtle shared through stories, reflections and humor. He reminded us how closely connected we are to the earth and to each other. The only sustainable future we have is if we remember this truth – we are stewards, not owners, of the resources and gifts around us. Our Mother Earth sustains and nourishes us, giving us everything we need to sustain life. We play our part when we remember that and act with love and reverence toward her.

Do we do that? So often, we fail to regard our earth as the living, vibrant organism it is. We regard it as an inexhaustible collection of resources, ours for the taking. We miss so much when we fail to view our world in the light of our living connection to it. The Native American tradition has much to teach us about our relationship with our mother.

Red Turtle also shared with us the wisdom he has gathered in his journey through difficulty and loss. He reminded us of the lesson given him by his teacher whenever he faced a challenge – “where’s the lesson?” He learned that every challenge contained the seeds of a lesson, if we only look. He was grateful for all the lessons he learned in the many challenges he has faced.

Finally, Red Turtle emphasized the importance of family and of tradition. Our families and our history ground us – they tell us who we are, where we’re from. From them we gain the strength to live fully with authenticity and courage. They give us our wings.

Red Turtle shared a great deal more, and we are so grateful he took the time to spend his morning with us. Many thanks to him, to his good friend and an excellent drummer, Montana, and to all those who made Sunday such a special morning!

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