The Human Connection
Today I will write to you about a thought and a feeling that has been building in my heart and mind this week. That is the power of human connection and the irreplaceable gift of an encounter with a person with deep knowledge and presence.
I was lucky enough to attend a two day seminar on Thursday and Friday in Brisbane about embedding Indigenous perspectives in Education. Thursday was filled with inspiring guest speakers sharing their views and knowledge on this subject. We were given hundreds of quality resources and information, however the most powerful impact for me was from a speaker called Peter ‘Muraay Djeripi” Mulcahy who spoke directly from his open heart. He spoke about identity and the richness of Indigenous culture passed down from Elders to their children for 1000s of generations. He shared dreaming stories interwoven with Aboriginal lore, teaching children how to live morally and in harmony with each other and the landscape. The power of his words came from his passion and deep knowledge. This man could not be replaced by Apps, resource packages, books, websites jammed with information. With his words and body language he touched each person in the room and planted seeds within our hearts and minds.
In an age of information and technology, there is less opportunity to encounter these human resources, real humans with power to touch our feeling selves and inspiration to grow. Some people are lucky enough to have grandparents, relatives, teachers who can be this source of connection to deeper understanding.
As a teacher, I see in schools the sharing of knowledge can be very surface level and that relationship building and connection often take a back seat to academic rigor. I feel in some way the essence and truth of learning is lost when a text book or screen is put between the pupil and their teacher.
I read once that becoming a teacher is the highest spiritual path. Much of the time, our greatest teachers in life are not those we encountered at school, they are those that are an example for us to follow and that came into our lives in a moment of need.
So how do each of us become real human resources, with passion and deep knowledge in our areas of interest? To be present in our conversations and lead by example in all that we do? This task is not easy and the responsibility of it is not light. I see in our son Kai, he is a being of imitation and copies all that we do much more than what we say. Aitor and I wish to be that good example for him, to lead our lives with passion, presence and by searching for deeper knowledge and understanding.
Today our family was at a lantern making workshop with the Caloundra Steiner School Community and we took some time with the children after, for a morning circle. We sang, played hand games, welcomed the sun and shared a story on the grass, under the trees. No technology in sight and not a book or screen to be seen. The essence was there, it was alive and the children were delighted. I felt so grateful to spend this time with them. I spoke with the women there about beginning a women’s circle, for we too wished to spend more time in timelessness and true connection.
As adults and children we crave this real connection, people to people, heart to heart. This is where learning takes place. This is what our ancestors knew for generations, and only two centuries ago was happening on the land beneath our feet in Australia through the passing down of Aboriginal lore, dance and dreamtime stories. See Bruce Pascoe’s insightful book Dark Emu for a deeper look at the rich knowledge of Aboriginal culture pre-colonisation and how it can be accessed to create a sustainable future for Australia. Our landscape, our home still holds this space, it is our responsibility to call back this essence. To take time to make connections, build relationships, gather as people and share stories, songs and most importantly time. The time that is not counted by minutes or hours but rather by slow heart beats and calm breaths.
In each others presence we grow and learn. In our natural surroundings we are embraced by essence. By remembering and respecting those that came before us we return to this place of deep knowledge and learning.
Please take this inspiration with you this week and be conscious of making human connections. Meet us at Little Mountain Common this Saturday at 4:15pm for the Caloundra Steiner School Winter Solstice Festival, an evening full of light and community. Enjoy your week and thank you for reading. Love the RAMA family.