"It's a very Aboriginal thing to do, to give younger people greater responsibilities within the community as they become able to take those responsibilities on. It is a culturally appropriate transfer of roles that involves respect in both directions.. from the younger to the older and the older to the younger."
Listen to my thoughts about Jackie Huggin's inspirational quote in the video below. You'll also discover a bit more about where I went on holiday, this year - Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in Australia!.
(NOTE: Yes, I wrote any captions you see in this video. It's called self-deprecation, and it's mostly a healthy thing (I think!).)
As you'll see in the video, I am probably more excited about the location of the video - Uluru or Ayer's Rock in the centre of Australia - as I am about the words of Australian Aboriginal author, historian and Aboriginal rights activist Jackie Huggins.
That's not to say that there isn't a lot of wisdom in Jackie's words, there is. But to be next to Uluru - it was inspiring beyond words, for me; it was just incredible to be in the presence of such a place.
But back to Jackie's words. This Aboriginal inspirational quote strikes at the heart, I'm guessing, at what it is/was like to be Aboriginal. This is not about the individual here, but about the group and about how that group transmits both knowledge AND respect.
It reveals a wisdom that I'm sure Western societies once possessed but do so no longer.
It reveals how elders respect youngers and how youngers respect elders; i.e respect is mutual! (I'm sure every generation around today, in the West anyway, can remember a time when it was bemoaned that the young do not respect the old. And, perhaps, that is actually because the old do not respect the young.)
Not only are Jackie's inspiring words about respect, but they're about responsibility - when you are ready for a task, you are given that task!
There are no arbitrary age requirements for when someone is deemed to be responsible.
Young is expected of, it is only a matter of when.
And then old hands over power to young, respectfully.
I wonder, what would it be like if our families, organisations and jobs worked like this, if we all knew that sooner or later (as we grew older) it would be our turn to take responsibility and, eventually, our turn to hand over that responsibility to another.
The sad thing here, though, is that this Aboriginal culture is on the decline, ousted by a much more aggressive, short-term and 'practical' Western culture.
Hmm, a shame.
As ever, I'd love to hear your wisdom regarding Jackie's words too... :-)