“A man must make his own arrow-“Native American Winnebago Proverb (www.idlehearts.com)
A few months ago, I stopped by my favorite coffee shop to have my favorite caramel macchiato latte. The young man behind the counter had a quote on his shirt that read “A man must make his own arrow.” In the area where I live there are many people who are descendants of the various original peoples of the Americas, primarily the Lumbee and the Waccamaw-Siouan.
As I drank my latte I thought of the meaning behind the quote that he wore on his shirt. “A man must make his own arrow.” Autonomy. Personal responsibility. Independence. Pride in self. Standing on one’s own two feet. So many words and ideas came to mind.
I watched him as he happily attended to customers and I thought of his people’s history, how they are still thriving despite the odds that had been stacked against them. He stood proudly there behind that counter in that small family owned coffee shop and looked out at a world that just a few decades earlier would have scoffed at and discriminated against him and his people.
I smiled and sipped my latte and thought of that quote and how it had probably inspired him to be in charge of his life, to be in charge of his destiny, and “to make his own arrow.”
I considered how I can forge ahead in my life and be in charge of my destiny. I thought of the choices I can make that will move me forward towards my goals.
We all have obstacles to more or lesser degrees in our lives. Some of the obstacles are of our own design; other obstacles are put in our path by others, by situations beyond our control.
But, I believe with perseverance we can overcome the obstacles that are in our path. We can stand proudly and not give into fear and discouragement. We can take charge of our destinies if we dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to our goals.
I think of the history of the Lumbee and Waccamaw-Siouan and how they are still proudly standing and thriving and I can only hope that I have their courage and perseverance to “make my own arrow” and to focus on my goals and not surrender to discouragement.
Tomorrow is another day; tomorrow is another day that the sun will rise.
Rise with it and turn your face towards the rising sun and its warmth and move forward.
Always move forward, after all this life is, like the arrow’s path, on a forward trajectory.
We cannot go back; we can only go forward (whether we want to or not).
Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022