Remembering the Elders

January 1, 2014

The child looks everywhere and often sees nought; but the old man sitting on the ground sees everything.    –Wolof

One of the most important natural resources that a community has is its elders. It is said that a long life brings wisdom. An elder is a repository for a lifetime of learning and experience as well as for the wisdom gained from his or her elders. So a physically long life, by linking to previous generations adds cultural, historical and spiritual length to a physically long life. And because during their lifetime elders have welcomed many when they entered the world and have bid farewell to many who have departed, elders know their communities. This is why they are and should be revered. To gain knowledge from an elder, to have the opportunity to listen to or converse with an elder, and take in the wisdom that such an exchange will bring, is a special thing. But it is an even greater blessing when one can sit in the shadow of an elder, even if only for a brief time. To share space with an elder during moments of quiet reflection, to feel the wake of their energy, amassed over their lifetime, washing over you, and through you, informing you and enriching you with its power. This is special. As we start the new year The Géwël Tradition Project would like to remember all of the elders who have made a transition from this plane, especially Elhadji Moussa Faye and Nelson Madiba Mandela.

Elhadji Moussa Faye

Elhadji Moussa Faye

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

A parent dies in the body, but not in the minds of the children.  –Ganda


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