Ancient Peruvian Gratitude

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In 2018, we went to Machu Picchu, Peru for my 2018 Wisdom Council.  

Every picture you see of Machu Picchu looks like it's taken by a professional photographer.  I took this shot.  Isn't it beautiful!   Sunny day.  Clouds in unique formations.  Velvety green mountains look like moss.  The sun came out and you can see the people walking through Machu Picchu.  When you walk through, it's really quiet.  Like a cathedral.  Machu Picchu is such a mystery. It was built in the 1400's.  The Incans had no metal so they cut all the stones, by rubbing stone-to-stone.  

And they hauled stones for their structures up from way down below in the valley by the water.  Absolutely amazing that they finished this structure.  It's a mystery why they were there and a mystery why they left.  

This ancient place is sacred.  

Whenever I travelled all over the world for my corporate job, I always felt humbled because I didn't know the language.  To show my reverence I would ask how to say two things in the local language.

So, in Machu Picchu we had an aboriginal guide and I asked her how to say these two things in Quechuan, the native language of the Peruvian Incans. 

  • How do you say the word 'Friend?' 
  • And how do you say the phrase, 'Thank you?'

She looked at me, puzzled, and asked if she could call her father.

So right in the middle of this cathedral-quiet place, she pulls out her cell phone and calls her father and they're talking in Quechuan.  

From my work with aboriginal cultures, when somebody says they are calling their dad about interpreting something, I see it as Accessing the Elders.  She was accessing Elder Wisdom to answer my question! 

They're talking in Quechuan and she comes back and still has that puzzled look on her face.  

"Let's start with the word, 'Friend.'  We really don't have a direct translation of the word 'Friend' in Quechuan.  That would mean we'd have a word for Enemy.  We don't have either of those words."

Wisdom Gem #1 !!

Imagine living in a culture where there was no word for friend or enemy! 

I asked her, "Then, what would you call me?'

She said, "Oh, I would call you Uncle."  

I shared with her that I studied with the Lakota people on Pine Ridge Reservation.  Younger people called me Uncle because that's a generational difference.  It made me feel welcomed and part of the family!

I shared with her the Lakota phrase, Mitakuye Oyasin, which means We Are All Related.

She thoroughly enjoyed the commonalities between our cultures!  

"Now the second phrase you want me to translate for you in Quechuan is 'Thank You.'"

"This is really hard to explain in English." 

Again, my wisdom indicator lights up.  If something is difficult to explain in English, it probably means this is going to be a Wisdom Gem!

She has a concerned look on her face. 

"So 'Thank You.'  We didn't have that phrase either."

She struggled to find the right words.

"If had something you needed, it was already yours." 

Wisdom Gem #2!  

Can you imagine living in a culture where people gave each other what they had because that's what the other needed? 

"For example, if I was a healer," she said, "and you needed healing, it really wasn't mine to give.  It was already yours."  

What an amazing way to look at gratitude!

Imagine living in a culture where gratitude was so thoroughly baked into the culture, in your family and neighborhood that whatever you needed came your way!  

That was one of the many Wisdom Gems I gathered from our 2018 Wisdom Council.  

From that moment, I promised to work hard not expecting 'Thank Yous' because what I have is already yours. 

With that mindset, I've learned to be more generous.

That's my Wisdom 4 Humanity Challenge for you:  Notice Thank You's you receive and ask yourself, Was this gift already theirs?

The gift just moves through you to that person.  

The Lakota have a phrase, taku scan scan which means the sacred movement of things or more accurately, things that move in nature, like water wind and breath is evidence of The Great Spirit.  

BE evidence of spirit moving in the world!

We are movers of sacred things in harmony with nature.  

So that's your simple challenge:  Don't expect Thank You's.  

That is my Wisdom 4 Humanity Wisdom Gem. Hope it serves you.  

Live 100% Empowered.  Learn Deeply and Continuously.  And Put Your Talent in the world Where You Shine BOLDLY!


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