Gifts of the Seven Grandfathers

Posted: October 18, 2016 in Miscellaneous, Musings
Tags: , , , , , ,

Although I’m an optimistic person who sees the glass as half full, these days it seems that people are not only seeing the glass half empty, they’re taking other people’s glasses and hurling them to the ground to break.  Civility is an unknown word and “discussion” = name-calling. It both tires and saddens me.

In his latest book Manitou Canyon, William Kent Krueger mentions the gifts of the seven grandfathers as told by the Anishinaabe, gifts will guide a child to a good life.

In these days of anger, disrespect, and the willingness to be rude and vulgar, especially online;

when cheating seems to be a way of life, even a badge of honor;

when the students in the supposedly tolerant universities will shout down a speaker with whom they disagree;

in a society where puffing oneself up for the least accomplishment (or an accomplishment of no or dubious value), our “heroes” are movie stars, and the media reveres bad boys and girls, men and women,

I wish that each newborn child would be gifted with these seven gifts:

  • respect,
  • truth,
  • bravery,
  • wisdom,
  • generosity,
  • humility, and
  • love.

What a different world it would be if each of us had even a modest amount of each of these gifts!  Is it too late for those already born to gain a modicum of each of these gifts?  If so, I fear for our country and for our world.

  1. I hope so… and I hope all kids will keep this 7 gifts, they are precious and they are the things what make us human…

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    Oh how we need these gifts, Janet. A heartfelt and important post.

    • It seems that too often these days I’m saddened/appalled/angry at actions and words that are freely taken/flung out either without thought for the consequences or, worse, deliberately and uncaringly. There can be no meaningful discussion, finding of common ground, or even civilly agreeing to disagree without these gifts or living in peace and relative harmony. It’s both sad and dangerous.

  3. If anyone doubts your words, all they have to do is turn on a 30 minute world news report on any channel and really listen to how low we have sunk as a society. It is a sad state of affairs, and I’m sorry but I don’t see people embracing these wonderful gifts as they did in years gone by. I’ve come to a point where I limit myself to one 30 minute local news program a day because that’s all I can tolerate and still be positive and enjoy my day. Here’s hoping you have a good Tuesday and encounter some nice folks out there during your day. 🙂

    • I’m the same way, Judy, and there’s not even the pretense of being civil or trying to understand the other person’s side of things. Worse yet, the opinion page of the newspaper has turned into the entire news, only never admitted to be so, rather than reporting the facts and letting readers (or listeners these days) decide for themselves. Even the “facts” are squishy and all too often not just distorted but downright lied about. But enough of that. I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday as well and I know I’ll meet lots of nice people at the tea shop at work today, so that helps.


  4. Norm 2.0 says:

    I sure hope the pendulum starts swinging back in favor of civility soon because it is becoming harder to stay positive while being constantly bombarded by so much negativity. I guess we all need to keep doing our part by sharing these 7 gifts with others whenever we can 🙂

    • That’s the best way to start, Norm, with ourselves, modeling these gifts whenever possible. It’s very difficult to stay positive and the media, in any country, does its part by only covering bad news and often in a negative way. As I mentioned in an earlier response, “news” is mostly opinion now, making it even more difficult to make good decisions.

      Let’s start small, find like-minded people, and spread this positive infection as quickly as possible!! 🙂


  5. bythebriny says:

    Love this post, Janet. If only we parents could instantly bestow these values upon our babies at birth, rather than going through the hard work of teaching them over the years.

  6. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely and timely post Janet. I guess all we can do is our best to spread the seven gifts in our own small worlds and hope they spread and are carried far and wide.

  7. Emilio Pasquale says:

    I feel I do have a modicum of these seven gifts. Well of all except, perhaps, bravery. I’ve never had to be brave. Never been called upon. I’d hate to find myself lacking but one never knows until the moment comes. I already fear for our world!

    • All of us with a modicum of these gifts, or even most of them, must just do our best to spread their influence. It’s certainly a tough time right now!


      • Emilio Pasquale says:

        I think if the big T loses, there will be even tougher times as he’s whipped his followers up into believing that the only way he can lose is if the election is rigged.

  8. Jan Morrill says:

    As always, Janet, thank you for your wisdom. From everything I’ve seen, you’ve been blessed with the other six gifts, too.

  9. Indira says:

    If each parent practice these values children will also learn them. It’s really tough time for whole world.

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