November 2012 Publisher's Letter
“Because the health of the community is intertwined with the strength and health of our children, we must encourage our young to develop healthy, positive awareness of the self. This is why we start the process of discovering a child’s identity long before its birth.” ~ Sobonfu SomeWhen it comes to passion and purpose, we watch our children, whose passion and purpose seem clear and unspoiled by the challenges and hardships of life. Just before our first son, Galen, was born, someone from our community of friends discovered the book The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient Teachings in the Ways of Relationships, by Sobonfu Some.
In that book, Some tells about a pre-birth ritual performed by the Dagara tribe of Africa, in which the tribal elders convene to speak with the child’s spirit to learn their purpose for coming into the world. The elders hold that knowledge for the child, using the wisdom to guide them in their youth, and when the time is right, they remind the child of their reason for being.
Our friends were inspired by that idea, and created a ritual of their own to emulate the Dagara, beginning with the questions in Some’s book: “What is your purpose for coming?” and “Is there anything we can do to support you?,” the answers to which were “To be love.” and “Get out of my way.”
We were intrigued and amused, and really didn’t know what to do with the information we had received. So, we just didn’t think much about it until after Galen was born. Then, gradually we began to understand its’ meaning, and to observe how love and determination consistently showed up in our lives whenever Galen was present. These principles guide his life, and when he is true to them, he possesses a clarity of purpose, passion and persistence that is rarely ever denied.
We can do that for our children, but what of ourselves? How do we remember our true reason for being here and create a life that fills the soul? Our magazine this month is packed with inspiring ideas for living a life full of purpose and passion, including “Fashion A Passion-Driven Life,” and “Overcome Obstacles to Achievement."
Looking through the lens of the Dagaran culture, we found a fresh, new way of thinking. Atlanta is rich in opportunities to learn and benefit from the world’s storehouse of knowledge. Two don’t-miss events this month are A Gathering of The Wisdom Keepers, when spiritual elders from around the world will come together from November 9 to 11 to share their trove of knowledge, and a chance to experience the teachings of Taoist Master Chen, from November 29 to December 2.