making sure those voices are worth listening to.
Do you listen well? How do you know what you’re listening to is worth listening to? Where does it come from? Is it true? How do you know? Do you listen to understand, or just hear random noises?
If you feel like you’re being interrogated, you are. Lol, we all are, and I believe we should each reflect on these types of questions more often. Not only when thinking about the sounds we might hear throughout the day, from certain people or in particular spaces - but also the voice in our head - our whakaaro, our conscious thoughts, beliefs and worldview. These all contribute to who we are and we rely on our thoughts and beliefs
to help us navigate the world, and make sense of it.
For instance, I grew up on a diet of pūrākau, oriori and te ao Māori, stories and songs boasting a Māori worldview - most of them about the greatness of tupuna (ancestors) in their pursuits of new knowledge, new worlds and new lands. So the voice, the thoughts and beliefs starting to form in my mind were that being Māori was nothing but positive, empowering and good. Which has contributed to where, who and what I am today in all the best ways..
Unfortunately I came to learn that diet (or even an adaptation of it) wasn’t prescribed to everyone and the thoughts and beliefs affirming identity had been construed and warped along the way. So much so, that some believe there’s no alternative, there’s no light, there’s no hope for a different outcome to what they already believe to be true.
But darkness always comes before light, Te Pō transitions into Te Ao Mārama, from the darkness and unknowing comes light and enlightenment. This is whakapapa. It’s a process. We can interrogate it, we can trace the process back throughout the various stages to its source, and
acknowledge the components that make up the whole.
And sometimes the ‘whakapapa’ in question won’t necessarily be your ancestry, but may be the experiences and decisions you’ve made that have unfolded exactly as they have. If you dig deeper, if you take the time to sit down with your thoughts and silence the noise of the insignificant stuff you can start to acknowledge the whakapapa of those thoughts, wrestle with them, develop them - and the rest… until you make them a voice that works for you, that gets the most out of you…
A voice worth listening to.