Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Focus on the Positive Path Forward, Not the Negative Path of the Past"

This year's Parliament theme was "Hearing Each Other, Healing the Earth," with a strong focus on indigenous peoples. These are cultures whose voices have gone unheard of for so much of Western history, but remain closer than most of us to the Earth, while many of our "civilized" cultures have become far removed from the natural world. 

Many sessions were held by indigenous spiritual leaders, whose cultures and peoples have been sorely mistreated by others, and in some cases, have had their traditions almost eradicated. Many of these peoples had restrictions imposed on them, making practicing their religions illegal. Indigenous leaders had a great deal to speak about at the Parliament, and at times emotions were high. After one session held by Aboriginal Elders, audience members were coming up front to shake hands and I heard more than one European-descent Australian say,"I'm sorry." Those are powerful transformative words. 

Consistently, the aborigional elders talked of the present and future, and making things better now and for their grandchildren. They offered this advise not just as their own philosophy for moving forward after being wronged, but as advise to be taken by everyone, especially in regard to the care of the Earth, our home. 

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