WHAT DOES IT TAKES TO BE AN ELDER?
This thought provoking letter was emailed anonymously……
An Elder is thoughtful, strong and also compassionate. An Elder condemns all kinds of violence and abuse, not just those kinds that it is convenient for them to condemn. An Elder stands up for the weak and speaks truth to power.
An Elder is not perfect, neither is he or she a hypocrite. An Elder recognises that his or her strength comes from a long line of ancestors and their accumulated wisdom. An Elder is always learning.
An Elder is somebody you can expect a “fair go’ from. An Elder will not attack you when you least expect it. Instead, an Elder will stand up for you when you most need it.
An Elder will definitely not take responsibility for you, but will encourage you to take responsibility for yourself and stand alongside you while you try.
An Elder knows that true dignity comes from within, and that nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. An Elder is slow to judge, but fierce in his or her defence of the oppressed.
An Elder understands that our history of colonisation has left many of us hurting and afraid. An Elder will not manipulate our hurt and fear, but will help us to see that we can overcome it together.
An Elder has a vision for a better and more peaceful community. An Elder lives in such a way to make this community happen.
Elders do not hit women or children. Elders do not rape men, women or children. Elders do not tolerate the abuse of any man, woman or child in their community, EVER.
Are you an elder? Or are you just old?
A Koori Woman northern NSW
Strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life and child rearing