“I am a medicine man.”
- As a child, I didn’t know that. As a child I just thought that I was a bit odd, a little different.
But I was recognized as a medicine man, by one of my Native American elders. Who taught me some rather interesting things. One of them was, medicine men aren’t “taught” to be medicine ment, they are told they are medicine men. Being told “why” you are different’, and how it’s a blessing to the tribe – well that changes some things – and makes it easier to accept yourself as different – and it helps you start on the path of discovering exactly what your medicine for the tribe is.
- Just letting you know, because you just might be a medicine man too.
Next. It’s been said that medicine men didn’t charge for what they did. And yes, in a way – that’s true. It’s been said by many elders I respect, “We didn’t charge or ask for money.”
But still, they got paid, often quite well. Here’s why and how.
Most Native American cultures were based on having a giving economy. Which meant this, any time there was a birth, a death, a celebration, a mourning, there was some form of give-away. Members of the tribe were always giving something to someone. A very different way of life, where the focus was on, “what is the best gift I can give to you, them, him or her”. So you were always on the lookout for who would appreciate and most effectively use – what you would be giving away – at the next birth, death, celebration or mourning.
How cool is that, to have a culture where your attention is focused on getting to know everyone to the point that you know what the best gift is for them.
So what about medicine men?
When you asked an elder or medicine man to work with you, a gift of value was exchanged. Something YOU valued, something that they would find value in as well.
- So you weren’t giving them “a token of appreciation”, you were giving them something of value – for something of value.
Compare that to money – which is a great medium of exchange – one that we use everyday. Money being a very effective medium of exchange – only represents value.
“Money only represents value.”
So it’s easy to “give me money”, to pay a fee for a service. That’s part of the culture we live in. And in a way, that’s the way it gets to be. As much as I would enjoy being given a motorcycle for several weeks or months of training or coaching, odds are – you can’t get one to me in Australia – and odds are (until now) you didn’t know that I would value that.
So today’s take aways….
- You just might be a medicine man. You aren’t “taught” how to be one, there isn’t a school to graduate from. (Yes, there are things that are very useful to learn, but those are part of your “doing”. Being a medicine man is a way of being.
- Native cultures had strong economies – based on flow – flow that kept going because of the give away. How can you build “the give away” into your life?
- And how can you get to know your elders – teachers – healers better? So that if you choose to give to them in the traditional way – your gift will truly be personal, and be effective in their life.
More to come, leave a comment and share if you wish to.
Mr Twenty Twenty