R. S. is my adopted Grandfather. He married my maternal grandmother after my Mother’s biological father died in an Air Force airplane accident. R. S. graduated from Stanford with an engineering degree while also running track. He was in the Air Force and spent time in real estate development before retiring. He then became the mayor of Indian Wells for two terms, and now remains very active by sitting on several boards, such as the Living Desert: Indian Wells’ zoo. R. S. is part Cherokee. His wife and my Grandmother is a Reverend that remains very active as well.
“Perhaps my favorite Cherokee Proverb is this:
‘When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.’
Native Americans, not just the Cherokee, provided such a beautiful and humbling perspective of the world. I believe that we can learn a lot… From what they said and did. Even ancient Cherokee Proverbs still apply to our everyday life. This is an inspiration to me. Look, it’s on our refrigerator! Maybe that’s why it’s my favorite – I always see it when I eat! I kid…”
What my Grandfather says is very poignant. It is extremely moving that we can still learn a lot from a Cherokee proverb from hundreds of years ago. I admire his ability to see that in his lineage. While he was obviously not brought up in a traditional Cherokee manner, he is able to understand and respect the beauty of their culture, and attempts to embody their strong spirit.