I am witnessing the most important values of the world’s heritage, including ethics and spirituality, being cut away from our youth and replaced with the reign of mindless entertainment, among other distractions. Is it any wonder that suicide is being considered by children who have not even reached puberty? We are at a critical moment in history as the danger of losing our roots has never been so great before, and we do not realize what this danger means for us. We do not realize that by disconnecting ourselves from our roots, we are losing the fundamental, foundational inner strength that we need to live as complete, happy and productive people. Without our roots, we are empty beings searching for the wrong things to fill the void inside of us and we crumble easily at the smallest obstacles in life. It hasn’t always been this way, and it doesn’t have to continue, but it’s up to us to recover what we’ve lost.

For example, when I examined the ancient, sacred customs of dwindling tribes throughout the world during my travels, I found people with faith in their principles and themselves, people with enough courage to stand up to the impossible forces of corporate domination and refuse to give up their natural habitats. These people, lacking in modern knowledge, have a strength of faith that’s many generations old. It is that kind of faith and support from the roots of their precious heritage that give them a courage that is now rare in modern society. I’ve realized through my own experiences abroad that by reconnecting myself to the positive aspects of my own fading heritage, I am not only healing my own past by becoming grateful for what I did have, but I’m also becoming the role model that I wished I’d had myself from the beginning. We need to become our own heroes instead of waiting to be rescued, and that’s how the world will regain leaders worthy of honor and respect in the times to come.

Read the original published article on Front Porch: American Athenaeum Journal Anthology published in 2013