Lesson Five: Staying on Your Path
Life and career pathways are established as we make the Hero’s Journey. Early in life, the feelings of being alone and isolated often create difficulty with purpose. Yet as we wander, we find friends and experiences that show us how to care. Caring helps us to develop the strength to be able to face the obstacles. It is facing obstacles that we discovery success and strength. It is in this, we find hope and happiness.
Staying on the path is really the goal. We may not always know exactly what our career goals are nor will we always know the exact answer to a question. Our Elders have always helped us to understand that the road can be a hard path, yet the experiences strengthen our understanding.
In the final aspect of the Hero’s Journey, there is a great transformation with wisdom and gifts brought back to the people. Please review the following statements of our Elders and share with a friend, family member, counselor, or elder, your thoughts of how these statements pertain to yourself.
|Kevin Goodluck||“Mentors are very important. I think my mentors came about through meeting individuals who worked through the whole process from school. I think from high school through college, and then working through the various clinics I was working at. I think, the way my wife and [I] talked it through, if you had a table of advisors, who would be on your board of directors? Who would counsel you? Who would be helpful to you to help you through? You’ve just kind of have to envision them… or, if they’re actually there, put them there.”|
|John Spence||“Reservation, Housing Project, Welfare… I don’t want to be poor anymore. My senior year in high school, a teacher and a counselor befriend me and encouraged me to go to college. No one in my family had gone to college. I didn’t even think about going to college. These guys helped me get a couple of scholarships.”|
|Frank Alby||“I was learning that life is and could be a lot better. If I can adjust; if I can change my ways; if I can be the family man I want to be; if I can begin to understand what life is about, then I can improve. I’m in my early 40’s and at that time, today I’m in my mid 70’s. At that time, I never thought about what I’d be doing in my 70’s. I lived for the moment. For the time. I lived for that day. Not really thinking ahead. And learning the spirituality and learning how to live a better life was basic for me at that time, but I can see today how it got me where I am today. My life is more peaceful. My family is good. I have worked industriously for 65 years, well, I retired when I was 65. I began working when I was 17. At the time I begin working, I didn’t tell myself, well I don’t need money for my retirement, because I wasn’t thinking ahead. And if I had to tell young people today, why do you think a squirrel puts up nuts in the summertime, in the fall time? Because he knows winter’s coming. Well, we’re going to get older too.”|
|Marc Anderson||“If you have a little vision of what you would like to do and you find a mentor… somebody that can help you through. Find a good friend when things get down… Things will feel like it is impossible to get through. Find one good friend. You will be there and you will want to quit. I had another older student who supported me. Keep your eyes on the prize. Take advantage of others that have been there. Talk with people. Now there is more support.”|
|Benn Rhodd||“You have this hand, and you have this hand; you have choice. You can take that hammer and you can take it as a tool, and you can hold it with that hand, and you can destroy something; or you can take that hammer and put it in this hand and make something. You have a choice. Which one will you do?“|
|Marilyn Balluta||“For the younger kids, continue on to obtain your higher education. At the same time, continue to learn and practice your traditional ways, continue to listen to your elders, and at the same time, we, as adults, need to listen to our children. The younger children, the younger adults; they have struggles too, so we need to, as adults today, because I have adult children, we need to be able to take that time and still listen to them, to hear what they have to say, to hear them when they ask questions about our traditional ways. And if we don’t know the answer, then we need to, us being the grandparents that we are today, we need to be able to ask those questions of our elders so that we can all share that. Everybody, everyone needs to listen to each other and share knowledge with each other”|