I have been to one powwow in my whole life. It made a profound impression on me for many reasons. Today's day of action reminded me of something that occurred at that powwow that I have not forgotten.
Near the end of the day, an elder stood to pay tribute to a friend who had passed on. In the course of talking, he mentioned that he had had the opportunity to speak with one of our Prime Ministers. He wanted to speak to him about his personal experience of the abuse of native children in the residential schools. Perhaps the politician started to respond with the usual platitudes, because the elder said he told the Prime Minister:
"Wait. I want you to listen until I'm finished speaking. I will tell you when I'm done speaking."
We are not very good at listening, are we? We are already making up rebuttals, or thinking of something else perhaps completely unrelated to the speaker's words, or just waiting for an opening to jump in with whatever it is that we want to say ... anything but just listening.