A long, long time ago, the Grandfathers gave the Anishinaabe people seven gifts or teachings in which we were to live our lives by. Those seven gifts were NIBWAAKAAWIN (Wisdom), ZAAGIDWIN (Love), MANAADJITOWAAWIN (Respect), AAKODEWIN (Bravery), GWEKOWAADIZIWIN (Honesty), DIBAADENDIZOWIN (Humility) and DEBWEWIN (Truth). Each of these gifts are interconnected and if we follow these teachings, we are well on our way to living a balanced and holistic life.
Each morning I pray to the Creator, give me the wisdom to know right from wrong and the courage to do what is right. If we possess wisdom, we will make good decisions.
There was a time, when I was much younger, in which I thought I knew more than I did. Through trial and error, I soon learnt that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. While I would have liked to have made better decisions, those experiences have shaped who I am and what I know today.
Sadly some people never learn from their mistakes but instead, wallow in their own foolishness. They continue to do the things that got them in trouble in the first place and the end result is often dismal, if not tragic.
Mark Twain warns, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.” While humorous, there is some truth to what Twain says. We learn wisdom through experience but we can also learn by listening and observing others. If we keep our mouth shut and our ears open, we can learn wisdom.
While wisdom can be learned, it was also a gift given to us by the Grandfathers. Therefore, if you lack wisdom, pray that the Creator will give you that gift. It is ours for the asking but not for our own edification, but for the people.