When what you know doesn’t match how things are
There’s a quote that goes, “we see the world not as it is, but as we are.” Our whakapapa (ancestry), our experiences, our environment and conditioning, all of it has contributed to the way we see the world, what’s right and wrong and what we expect from life, from others and from ourselves.
I dunno about you, but there’ve been many times in my life when I’ve had to check myself about something I believed to be true, that wasn’t the truth for everyone. For instance, I had positive Māori role models growing up, they were good people, in all sorts of professions and doing anything and everything. So my association to being Māori was extremely positive and empowering. As I grew older and left school, I started to hear other stories and experiences from Māori and non-Māori alike, whose experience and association to all things Māori was pretty much opposite to mine. “we see the world not as it is, but as we are.”
So what’s the truth?
How do we know which one is real and which one isn’t? Can they both be real?
Let that one simmer for a while, have a think about it and come up with your own whakaaro (opinions) and meanwhile, I’ll share what I reckon. Let’s just back track both of those ‘truths’ back to their source. Let’s follow their whakapapa back to the origins and we might learn how they came to be so different and where things changed.
Pursuing excellence, becoming the best version of yourself and making a positive contribution back to your collective is woven through pūrākau (legends, stories), karakia (chants, incantations) and various waiata (songs, lullabies etc.) throughout the generations, til today.
Negative associations to being Māori - traced back to a couple hundred years ago with European arrival, colonisation
So, what’s your truth?
Something entrenched in your DNA, that is your birthright and obligation to do so? Or an introduced, foreign truth bestowed upon you?
He kai mo te hirikapo, something to think about.