The Wisdom of Our Elders

By Stephen C. Schultz

I had the opportunity to spend some time with David Altshuler, M.S.  in Miami Florida this week. He invited Brent Hall, Executive Director at Discovery Academy, and me over for lunch. What a pleasure it was to see David again. Through the course of conversation, the discussion turned to family heritage. We discussed how stories and experiences passed from generation to generation help create a sense of identity and belonging. David shared a story of his grandmother, as a young teen, working outside the home as a secretary for two dollars a day. He related how she took pride in her work and willfully shared her earnings with her family.
I was reminded of how I take great pride in being raised an “Oregonian”, and the fact that my father, grandfather and great-grandfather all had experience working in the woods as loggers. There were stories of logging trucks losing their breaks on rugged switchbacks. I recall hearing about my father riding in the crummy to work at age 15 with all the other loggers. There were experiences shared of choker setters losing fingers and the term "Punking Whistle" was a way of communication. For me, all of these stories have contributed to a sense of appreciation, expectation of a solid work ethic and family identity.  The messages portrayed by these types of stories also assists in the creation of family culture. What stories of family sacrafice or accomplishment do you remember hearing as a child or teenager? What messages of family identity and culture are you sharing with your own children today?

There is a Wilderness Treatment Program that also values the experience and wisdom of those who have gone before. Please enjoy  the Clan Of The Hand.


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