Inspiring lesson on Trust

This week I was teaching a few courses in the Bachelor of Community and Social Development which is offered in block mode to Aboriginal students from around the country. One of the students kindly offered to drive me to the airport. On the way, there was a traffic jam. She expressed worry that I might miss my flight. I said, “Even if I miss my flight, it would be a good thing. The ancestors are in charge and if I’m meant to miss my flight, it’s because I’m supposed to sit next to someone on the train and I’ll pay attention if that happens.” I then told a story I heard from the Head of State of Samoa. He had shared how he was on his way to an important international meeting. They had booked his tickets first-class. His first flight was delayed and when he arrived in Auckland for his change of flights he was advised that he was several minutes too late and would have to wait for the next flight which was hours away. He knew he could let them know he was Head of State and that it might mean they would be flexible to let him get on the plane, but he didn’t say anything other than gratitude and respect. The ticketing agent then said, “There are no first-class seats available so you’ll have to sit economy on that flight” still he didn’t say anything other than express gratitude and respect. As she handed him the tickets he turned around and then saw a very dear friend he hadn’t seen in many years and they were able to have a wonderful reconnection in the intervening hours. When His Highness boarded his replacement flight he found that he was sitting next to two Maori artists who practiced a form of art he had always wanted to learn about. He then shared how practicing trust that all is well allowed him to be ready to receive those new blessings. If he had insisted on trying to control the situation from his position of power he would have missed those. Humility and trust open our vision to see the ancestors are caring for us in ways we can’t anticipate ahead of time. After I finished that story the woman driving me said that she felt the whole purpose of her driving me to the airport was to hear that story. I arrived with 8 minutes to spare and was given a seat. When I boarded my plane I saw that it was packed. My row towards the back had no one else in it yet. Not even on the other side of the aisle, yet every other row was packed. I waited for everyone to finish boarding, expecting that my rows would also fill up. But no one sat next to me or in the opposite row. My wife texted me “I have the work van and I might be able to come pick you up” I knew that it was rush hour and that she had been run ragged all week with work and moving house and health issues so I told her I would make my way home by public transport. Then with only minutes to go before takeoff, a man arrived and sat in the row opposite me. Both of us having no one else in our sets of three seats. I leaned over to him and said, “Were you kind to the ticketing agent?” and we started a conversation. Turns out he is from Tonga. He moved over out of his row and came and sat next to me and we talked for the next hour and half discovering all of the beautiful parallels in our lives. Turns out he is a healer and an incredibly beautiful heart. I witnessed him offering to carry luggage for elders and many ‘little’ things like that. Turns out he lives very close to my house and he very kindly offered to drive me home. What a beautiful embrace from the ancestors.


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I’m an author. My first book was Nudges From Grandfather, Book 1 in the series Honouring Indigenous Spiritual Technologies.  I have a PhD in Law on “The Protection of Indigenous Medical Knowledge: Transforming Law to Engage Indigenous Spiritual Concerns.” My father specialised in Indigenous Psychology and we lived and worked with several Native American communities. Read More...