The Future: There’s No Such Thing
I often get asked to talk on the subject of improving our future, to which a lot of my replies I say ‘our past is gone & there is no such thing as the future, so why worry about it’ Until a recent conversation completely flipped my perspective on what the future may hold.
As I was preparing for a keynote at the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (#HOSW18) Conference in Sydney, an international conference where First Nations people come together from around the globe, to share healing;
I was debating in my mind the direction of which I want my speech to go; when I received a txt message. It was 9:40pm on a Thursday evening and my mind was beginning to wind down.
The txt was from Uncle Paul Gordon, Ngemba man from Brewarrina.
Uncle Paul’s cultural influence, has been a big player for the reintroduction of men’s cultural practice for not only me, but 100s of First Nations men up & down the east coast of Australia; an extremely culturally rich man having huge positive impacts on in many, many communities.
After we got chatting, I spoke to Uncle Paul about the topic I would be delivering, which was, ‘our way, our future’. It was then did he start speaking with truly profound wisdom that blew my thought process out of the water.
He said, ‘why do we think so much about our future when, the only thing we have is our past’
The comment intrigued me; & with my mind always analysing words & conversation of people, this conversation led me on a completely new direction of thinking, and even delivery of message with my wellness sessions.
Working a large proportion of the year in First Nation communities with #TheEnemyWithin, I started to realise that, if indeed we are going to have and enjoy a plentiful future then it has to be done by remembering connecting to & learning from our past.
If you think about it, even as an individual reading this, every single moment of strength in our life, is built from the knowledge of our past.
The opposing side of the stick is that, every piece of hurt and destruction, particularly in First Nation communities, stems from something that has been removed from us; removed from our past. This has been used as a tool to disempower us as a people; stolen land, stolen wealth, culture, language & one of the most significant traumatic experience was the removal of our kids; the list goes on.
Now you maybe thinking ‘but he just said all of the positive comes from our past & now we are talking negative’ but it is also true their are many negatives from our past, but the very fact we stand here today, shows we are a resilient survivor; whoever you may be, anyone who has come through an adverse situation shows that you are a warrior, that continues to overcome.
Through my recovery, I have often spoke on the importance of staying in the present. So much focus in today’s wellbeing conversation is centred around ‘being present’ yet when you look at it again, we don’t really have a present moment, we only have a ‘moment of presence’; then, in an instant it becomes the past - again relating to the conversation of gaining strength from and through our past.
Majority of people who we look up to, elders, inventors, entrepreneurs, Einstein, whoever - are all people who have lived in a split moment of presence, then it becomes their past.
Another important point to make is that, the future is never guaranteed; nothing is ever guaranteed apart from that moment of presence and our past because it has already happened.
We work so hard as individuals, part of a bigger system; to build our future for the betterment or empowerment of ourselves and our families, yet the answers we need, the answers to end many problems in life, is by learning from and walking hand in hand with our past.
Again, what ever you have experienced, shows that you have got through it.
The future, is nothing but a made up word; a dream, to plant seeds of hope in our minds; but it also creates unneeded expectations, which go on to cause further let downs with individuals. I say, scrap your idea of talking about the future, just live in your moment of presence & connect to, & learn from your past.
Learn from all the stories, the thousands of years of cultural practice & knowledge handed down generation to generation!!
We don’t need to concentrate on the future, a made up word, because when it gets here it’s gone..
As I finished up my keynote at the #HOSW18, I could see the nodding of heads & hear the conversation from elders and First Nations from around the globe.
We don’t need to invest in what’s best for ‘our future’ we need to put money toward revitalising, reviving everything that we had in our past; our culture, our ceremony, our languages - for at least 65,000 years, that stuff has worked. The reasons why our communities are in crisis around the country is because were aren’t doing those things.
We need to connect to, & concentrate on the strengths of our past; because with zero suicides pre colonisation for First Nations people; and now the Suicide rate among the highest in the world;
What the old people were doing, was working; what we are doing now, isn’t...