February 17, 2012
Guest blog by Brad Stone….
Anpetu Wasteh (Dakota for “Good morning” or “It is a good day”)
Sometimes we may think our life is not that spectacular or what we do with our life isn’t that important. I’ve come to understand that our purpose here on this earth is unique to each one of us, yet we often times compare ourselves to so many of those around us and start questioning ourselves as to why can’t we be as “successful” as this or that person. Truth is, we can be so successful in our own right if we just believe that we are travelling our own path and focus on our own growth and understanding.
Many of our cultural teachings as First Nations people are about understanding the beauty and sacredness of life all around us, the interconnectedness of creation and that everything has purpose and spirit. However, I must state that I am still learning and there are many out there who could elaborate more on many of our teachings than I may be able to. I will always remember a quote an Elder from my home community shared with us while we were training for the Lance Run for the 1997 Saskatchewan Indian Summer Games (the Lance Run is like the Olympic Torch for these summer games). His name was Maurice Royal and he was conducting the sweatlodge for us to help us cleanse in a spiritual way to get ready for the 7-day, 500 KM run that lay ahead of us. In between rounds, we were sitting in the lodge and he said:
“Give the world your best, and the best will come back to you”
I don’t know how I was able to remember it throughout all these years as it was just an ordinary moment at the time, but for some reason that quote stuck with me. I think the reason why was because I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but as I went along in life the following years it started to make sense through some of my more positive experiences. I realized that if I approached each day with positive intentions, maintained an open mind and stayed thankful for everything as it unfolded along my path then good things seemed to happen in very unexpected ways. This quote helped me understand the importance of self-respect, an optimistic outlook and how powerful our approach to life is. It is also about grasping the opportunities as they arise. The reason I speak in this way through this blog is because I have come to view it as an opportunity.
Many, if not all, the people who are involved with Small Change Fund have definitely shown the power of taking a positive approach to life and giving the world their best. The staff, the interns, the volunteer Advisors across Canada, and of course each of the grassroots projects featured on the site.
The world needs people like this, just as the world needs each one of us for we all play a significant role in the world and have an inherent purpose (even if we don’t think so sometimes). I would like to close with the quote “The journey is the reward”, because when we take a moment to reflect within and allow our mind to free itself from the daily clutter it can accrue; we can realize how much it definitely is.
Got a question for me? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading, Brad.