LIVING FOR CHANGE
Message from the Elders
By Grace Lee Boggs
Michigan Citizen, July 14, 2009
This message is especially timely at this transformative moment when (1) a few young people, affiliated with Greenpeace, have just hung a banner on the face of Mt. Rushmore to warn President Obama and other politicians in Washington that what we need are leaders, not politicians,; and (2) a thousand young people have just come together at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, from converging movements all over North America, to declare that they are ready to face the challenges and opportunities of our current moment. “We are ready to create, connect and transform.”
Since 1959 delegations of Hopi leaders have been going to the UN every few years to warn the world’s leaders that the wars, floods, earthquakes which now threaten all living things on our planet are the result of our pursuit of political control, monetary wealth and military power at the expense of our relationships with one another and with the Earth.
This way of life, they point out, has enabled us to invent all kinds of technology that have made our lives more convenient. But because we have disrespected Nature’s rules and used them only for selfish purposes, we have suffered the First and Second World Wars, the annihilation of countless thousands of human beings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki., and the continuing pursuit of ways of living that are actually ways of killing.
In 1992 Hopi elders again told the UN that increasing floods, more damaging hurricanes, hail storms, climate changes and earthquakes and even the strange behavior of animals are warning us that we are at a
turning point not only in human history but in the history of the planet when we can no longer evade asking ourselves some very fundamental questions.
The message reprinted below was first delivered in 2002. Because it concludes with the statement “We are the leaders we’re looking for” or “Do not look outside yourself for the leader” which is not a traditional Hopi conviction, there is some question whether it originated from the Hopis or from a Cherokee elder named Will
Rockingbear . But there is no doubt that it is a message from indigenous Elders.
THIS IS THE HOUR
You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
Here are the things that must be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know our garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel like they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off toward the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
See who is there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves!
For the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lonely wolf is over.
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.