COURAGE/BRAVERY represented by the BEAR
Courage as per dictionary definition:
- Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand any difficulty or danger, fear, or hardship.
- Implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or an extreme danger.
- Originates from the French and Latin root forms of “coer”:
To have courage is to have the mental and moral strength to listen to the heart. It takes courage to do what is morally right. First Nations people were told to be proud of who we are and never to deny the way of life the Great Spirit gave to us.
Courage is facing our daily problems and challenges with strength of character. It is standing up to protect our values and being truthful in the face of ignorance. Courage is what enables each person to seek out the greater good for a higher purpose.
To have bravery and to overcome fears that prevent us from being our true spirit as human beings is a great challenge to all of us. Yet we must all find the courage to overcome this challenge.
The Bear provides many lessons in the way it lives, yet courage is the most important teaching it offers. Though gentle by nature, the ferociousness of a mother Bear when one of her cubs is approached is the true definition of courage.
The Bear represents living of the heart – living your spirit. The Bear is very close to the land and it has brought many medicines to the people. Teachers, protectors, healers are all examples of living the Bear totem.
When we have a hard time in our life, whether it be something we are going through or a decision that we have to make in our lives and we are afraid, we call on the spirit of the Bear to help us have the courage and strength to do the right thing in our lives.
To have the mental and moral strength to overcome fears that prevent us from living our true spirit as human beings is a great challenge that must be met with the same vigour and intensity as a mother Bear protecting her cub. Living of the heart and living of the spirit is difficult, but the Bear’s example shows us how to face any danger with courage to achieve these goals.
Native people have the ability to adapt. In these modern times, we Native people must walk two roads. We must get educated so our people do not lose. We need lawyers, doctors, nurses, foresters, scientists, educators, carpenters, welders, etc. These skills are needed to help the people. While we are learning we need to remember to keep our culture, learn our dances, sing our songs, learn to speak our own language and maintain our culture for future generations.
Find the courage and maintain the bravery to listen to the younger and older generations. Find the courage and maintain the bravery to help the ones that need your help. Find the courage and maintain the bravery to be the active bystander. Find the courage and maintain the bravery to help yourself and to help others that may not require your assistance.
Find the courage and maintain the bravery to become an all-around good and healthy person for the betterment of all of society as a whole.
Excerpts from: Dave Courchene Jr., and Cindy Crowe