It seems that the ‘hot topic’ of the moment in the wide VC is ELDERS….who are they? What are they? How do we know who they are? And should we care?
Firstly let me say that I will not be mentioning any names. Personally, those I consider Elders are people who seem to ‘have their heads screwed on right’….they are wise and tend to pop up in places to smooth down ruffled feathers (or fur as the case may be ) and sort out problems. They are the calm voice in the storm and are not usually heard to be calling themselves Elders…in fact, in most cases, they will do the opposite.
They will not go around saying that everyone but themselves is wrong and will not try and replace things that are working with their own version of the same thing. They are the people who speak with quiet voices… voices filled with strength, compassion and wisdom or those that work behind the scenes, quietly, to keep things running smoothly and sort out problems, never ‘blowing their own trumpet’.
Those who shout loudly from the mountaintops that they are what they say they are…..well, who is it that they are trying to convince? Us? Or themselves? I’m more likely to pay attention to the quiet calm voice that speaks with wisdom and experience than the loud defening sound reverberating around from the top of the mountain. (Now, where are my earplugs?)
Two issues (among a few) that brought home to me who our Elders are, are the issues last year of the treatment of donors, and this year, the matter of new ‘councils’ springing up. I have to say that on the donor issue I was both horrified and impressed at the same time. Horrified by the negativity shown by some – and honestly, how many there were with negative outlooks about donors. However, my heart (I may be a vamp, but this vamp has a beating heart) was warmed once again, by the voices or reason – some of whom were speaking from here in South Africa, speaking out above the din of the negativity. I know this topic is something that our own VC is VERY concerned about and always strives to put in a positive light.
The issue of ‘councils’ or whatever you choose to call them, is another one where our Elders again were spotlighted. There are various groups existing at the moment which are of a kind to keep an eye on things and ‘govern’ in a way that is meant to be both fair and representative. These groups are working well and do good work….so for the life of me (*grins* again…this vamp does have ‘life’) I cannot understand why we would need yet another such group on the international stage, especially one that seems to want to replace the others. What would make this new group so much better than the others? Because the people in it say so? Forgive me if I’m a bit sceptical about that.
These are just two incidents that are at the top of my list. So go back and reexamine those situations and see the ones who are spotlighted… and examine them by the light of their actions, not by their own spotlight.
The Elders are the people who WE as ‘the people’ will proclaim and regard as Elders, even when it’s not what they proclaim themselves. So listen with your heart and with your head and not only with your ears to see who our Elders are. I could name names….but honestly, I don’t need to. Look around, pay attention and you will soon see for yourselves who our Elders are. We owe them a debt of gratitude for all that they do, both in the spotlight and out of it. We don’t all know the circumstances under which they toil and what obstacles they must overcome in order to deliver the goods. They bring us honor – and I hope you will all join me in saluting them.