Share the joy of life with others

by Peter Twitchell

Lift up the face of your people (LUTFOYP)! You can do this by furthering your education, maintaining your job, raising a healthy family, being a good aunt or uncle, stewarding on land and waters, choosing respect for yourself and others, leading a workshop session, sharing your wisdom and expertise, volunteering for a worthy cause, raising your grades.
These are the words of the late Dr. Walter Sobeloff, Tlingit from Juneau. These were words of a great role model.
I’m glad to report that I see many native young people following the words of our Elders. I am moved by these words from a man who contributed so much to his tribe and Alaska Natives.
The other day I got a call asking me to speak to 23 college interns. I thought, how can I refuse after reading the inspiring words of Dr. Sobeloff? It will be an honor to share my life experiences with these young men and women.
I am looking forward to meeting these future leaders of our people. I always feel that if I spoke to a group of people and I inspire just one person I’ve made some contribution to humanity.
I will be interacting with the college students for 90 minutes. I also feel this is just going to be a continuation of instruction I received from my Elders, and what I have learned in my seventeen (17) years of counseling and working with people like you and me.
I cannot keep the values of life bottled up inside of me. I have to share what little I know and some of the keys to leading a happy life.
Life to me is like a good song – there’s a beginning, and a bridge that connects to the end of the song. In a lot of ways the end of a song is only the beginning to the next best thing.
Remember we’ve been listening to music since we were in our mother’s womb. Let’s all share the joy of life with others. We can all share in the fulfillment of living a good life now and later, through the lives of our people.