by Ed Gurowitz
Many North American first nation cultures, notably in the Northwest, had a custom called in one language a potlach. Several times a year, especially in the winter months and on special occasions – births, deaths, adoptions, weddings, and other major events – a tribe or house would gather and invite another house to come and they would exchange gifts, vying to see which house could give away more of their possessions. The ability to give was considered a measure of a house’s true wealth and power.
In MKP we have a strong tradition of giving – we speak of men’s giveaways – acts of service and support that they give to another man or to the community. Staffing is a giveaway, as is MOS. Becoming a leader, an elder, or a ceremony leader, serving on committees and circles, all these are giveaways.
Last year when a NorCal brother lost everything in a catastrophic wildfire, the community rallied to create a “GoFundMe” campaign to help him and his family get back on their feet. These giveaways are so frequent and so from the heart that they are part of our culture and sometimes go unremarked, but by any ordinary standard they are remarkable indeed.
In MKP we practice the gift of the giveaway in many ways.
Another giveaway opportunity is coming soon, to give a gift to the Lodge Keepers Society. The Lodge Keepers walk the path ensuring that our NWTA Purification and Renewal (P&R) ceremonies are done in a good way: congruent with our intent, grounded in acceptance of all beliefs and nonbelief, and honoring the legacy of ceremonies and teachings that inspired its creation.
It is a tradition to gift our healers – they do not ask for pay – appreciating them is the right thing to do.
In the spirit of generosity, give a gift to honor what the LKS provide to our community. A gift to the LKS will ensure that our Lodge Keepers are supported and have what they need to keep teaching, healing, and leading. Watch for this campaign and give as you can and as is appropriate to both your means and your commitments.
Many men have created legacy donation pledges, including MKP in their estate planning; these are gifts we gladly wait to receive, but that are nonetheless important in carrying on MKP USA’s mission.
As men among men, we are giving men.
Till next time, Aho!
Out with Gratitude, Ed Gurowitz