Let’s learn from each other and from centering ourselves and going to the Source.
We can also learn from our local elders—talk to them.
And we can learn and remember from elders from around the world.
Fr. Albert Alejo of Ateneo de Davao University told this story to Leny Strobel (and a group of California teachers) during their Fulbright trip to the Philippines:
One day he was invited to a meeting with indigenous leaders in Mindanao. At lunch time as they were about to eat, one of the leaders said – since we have a priest with us, perhaps we should say a prayer and Fr. Alejo said—if I am not with you, will you be saying a prayer? The answer was: No, Father, because you see we gave thanks to the land when it received the seeds, we gave thanks to the seeds when they sprouted and yielded, we gave thanks when we harvested, we gave thanks when we cooked . . . so by the time the food is served, Father, it is already sacred.
Fr. Alejo told us this story to remind us that indigenous peoples and their sense of the Sacred Whole is intact. Their consciousness is not split into secular and sacred… everything and everyone is sacred.
Going back to indigenous values can heal us, society and the world.
(Thanks to Sarah Queblatin for sharing this video and reminding us and helping us find the words for our experiences.)