• Michael Dahdal

The Wisdoms Of Our Elders

Updated: Jan 10, 2020


As I was growing up, I was always attracted to mentor type characters in films and cartoons.

I would hang on every word of wisdom from the likes of Mr. Miyagi (Original Karate Kid) or Splinter (Ninja Turtles).

I was attracted to Chinese Kung Fu films and Japanese Samurai films.

Yoda from Star Wars was another character I looked up to.

Of course, those are all fictional characters, in my waking life; I never really had a mentor.

My football coaches all fell short of that role, as did my teachers and my university professors.

I never really attended church growing up unfortunately, nor did I get to know any of my grandparents.

I lived in 3 countries before I was 8.

My father would impart some basic words of wisdom, but I never really appreciated those until after he was gone.

My mother was a strong, hard working woman, who did everything for her family, she led by example, by doing – I’ve learned much from her, but again, not quite the mentor I need (or needed).

In recent years, it’s dawned on me why I was so drawn to all those fictional characters, characters that seemed to display (and share) both wisdom and virtue - (I've since increased my repertoire, so don't worry).

Even though they were fictional, I think they were appealing to a dormant part of my nature.

It’s in our nature to need and want to be mentored, to seek truth, goodness, wisdom and virtue.

Societies traditionally had (and still have) hierarchical structures and historically our elders were held in the highest esteem within our communities.

Wisdom was imparted from parents, grandparents and more broadly from the elders in the community to young people. This is what enabled cultures to flourish; this transfer of knowledge and ideas within communities.