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Keeping the Fire Burning: Purpose, Ancestors, and Customs. NAIDOC 2024.

Hi folks and welcome to my Friday Reflection.

Now more than ever, we need to keep the fire burning. This week I’ve been reminded of the importance of being clear on purpose, honouring ancestors, and keeping customs.


On clarity of purpose.
To keep the fire burning, now more than ever we need to remain clear on our purpose. This week I’ve seen people carry the hopes, dreams and well wishes of others. However, at the same time, I’ve seen them hold steadfast while others throw doubt, scorn, and shade in their direction. I witnesed their resilience and clarity of purpose as they set about acting with integrity and staying their course. It seems ot me that we need to have clarity of our purpose when we are keeping the fires burning for right relationships betwen our First Nations and all Australians.


On honouring ancestors.
This week I was reminded of the importance and simplicity of honouring all those who have gone before us. Now more than ever to keep the fire burning, we must acknowledge that we are in a long line of people who believed in the best of our relationships together. Some of them were activists pushing the boundaries and forcing the issues. Some of them were diplomats seeking peaceful recognition and the end of hostilities. All of them believing that they were keeping the fire burning for their ancestors. We all have ancestors that have gone before us. Because of them we find ourselves in this place today. Now more than ever we need to keep the fire burning to continue the legacy of our ancestors and act like the ancestors of tomorrow.


On keeping customs.
Now more than ever we need to keep the fire burning by keeping customs and traditions that give us meaning and belonging. In the modern world today it is easy to get caught up in fast-paced consumer culture and lose sight of activities of cultural and spiritual significance. We can easily look for the quick and convenient at the expense of deep and meaningful. Now more than ever we need to keep the fire burning on the meaningful and significant activities to sustain our deeper spiritual and cultural belonging. This energy is longer lasting sustenance for our souls.

I encourage you to sharpen your focus on your clarity of purpose. There will always be those who give you love and those who wil give you grief. Your clear purpose helps you to act with integrity.

I encourage you to honour your ancestors. Some of our cultures practice this, others not so much. We are essential to continuing the work of our ancestors and we honour them by remembering them in our work.

I encourage you to keep your customs and traditions alive and well. It is an antidote for feeling lost and a counter move to feeling insecure.

I hope that you can take something from today’s reflection to keep your fire burning for you and your loved one.

Be encouraged and encourage others.

Mark YP