Winnipeg Summary by Sebastian Dykstra
The seven teachings of the Anishinabe hold many resemblances to the fruit of the Spirit, as outlined in Galatians 5:22/23. We find that love is the only virtue that is held by both. However upon further inspection, we find that each and every one of the seven teachings of the Anishinabe relates in some respect to the fruit of the spirit. That is a very neat thing to see, because no matter how different Christianity may be to Anishinabe beliefs, the same fundamental structure still remains the same. Most importantly, love is seen as the ultimate of the esteemed virtues. In Matthew 22, we are told that love is the greatest commandment of all. This becomes all the more apparent when we see that love is also a very much embraced aspect of other groups as well. It distinctly solidifies the teachings of Jesus in such a powerful way.
Learning about different cultures and beliefs and then finding tangible ways to relate them to your own beliefs, is an absolute necessity. When we learn more about other people, we come to realize how similar they are to us, even in their differences. By looking past the exterior of things and digging deeper, we see that there are so many profound things that we can use to better ourselves and through that better everything around us as well. Change can only be made, when it starts at the core of everything, namely “I”. I need to change myself, before I can change others.
This then leads me to my final thought, a quote from Theodore Giesel (Dr. Seuss). It goes as follows,
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot.
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
While this quote originally was used as a means for the “green movement” and environmentalism, I find that its implications stretch far beyond that. It is a call for us to be the change that we want to see. The “I” in each and every one of us has to care about the change we want to see. The “I” has to take that first step in order to be a change maker. That is what I learned this year.