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View Full Version : What defines an "Elder"


Raven Poet
15-12-2013, 12:09 AM
I thought I would put it out there to my friends at SF this question: What defines an "Elder" (in the Indigenous cultures).

I've heard different views: those who serve others tirelessly, those who are older and have accumulated much life wisdom because they have done much with their healing and soul growth, and those who can speak their Indigenous language fluently and who carry spiritual teachings.

What do you folks think? As I'm sure you've read, I have felt much disappointment in people who are labeled Elders, yet have done some pretty selfish and hurtful things. I have also seen Elders who give their time and help from a heart place, and are extremely humble, and admit when they mess up and try to make amends.

Please know that I'm not judging anyone here - I know we are all on different places on our own Medicine Wheel journeys. But to be honest, I feel hurt when an "Elder" demonstrates an over-exaggerated sense of self entitlement and importance.

Appreciate your thoughts!

LilMariposa85
20-12-2013, 10:47 PM
I pretty much agreed with everything you said and think this part applies the most:

I've heard different views: those who serve others tirelessly, those who are older and have accumulated much life wisdom because they have done much with their healing and soul growth, and those who can speak their Indigenous language fluently and who carry spiritual teachings.


I think that can apply to just about any race as well. I also completely agree with the part about some demonstrating an over-exaggerated sense of self-entitlement and importance. Some of the most hateful people I have ever encountered where those who were up there in age.

Also one of the saddest things I see where I live is how the elderly is not as respected by younger people who are in my generation. But thats neither here nor there. Its just something that frustrates me.

Raven Poet
22-12-2013, 01:58 AM
Hi, LilMariposa85. Yeah, I am so glad you recognize the need to respect the elderly. Just by merit of how long they have lived life - and we all know that life can be real hard sometimes - deserves our respect.

I would applaud you for telling people of your generation to start respecting the elderly, and Elders, more than they do. They would probably respect it coming from someone their age instead of someone older like me!

Thanks for your thoughts!