Bee in the Bonnet: WITH AGE, COMES WISDOM!

By Bernie Bates

I was mad, as a man can be; “I wanted blood! I wanted testicles hanging from my wall!” But, now …. “Not so much.” I was going to write about, hate, revenge, dishonesty , betrayal and swift brutal justice! But, now …. not so much, I’ve cooled off and I’d rather address: Redman tape, better known as, bureaucracy. It’s the one thing that we Natives, have adopted from foreign cultures and customs. Bureaucracy, it’s like; cat shit on the kitchen floor, that no one wants to clean up.

The only hope for mankind – is for us to grow up. We are lead by people who are lacking one very important quality: Wisdom! The old ones knew it – that’s why we had such great Chiefs, in the past. Natives followed an Elder; who was the fairest, most honest, experienced person in the tribe. If he said that it was time to go to the ‘winter grounds,’ everyone packed up and went. There was no debating or endless meetings – it was a matter of survival.

Let’s say you’re an average, every day, Injun Joe – and you wanted to get to point ‘B, ’ from point ‘A,’ what would you do? That’s how simple it is …. getting from one point to another! So why in the name of the Great Spirit, would you go all the way over to ‘Y’ first? It make no sense to go past ‘X,’ around ‘Y,’ then go back to where you started from, just to continue onto your desired point …. “Get my point?”

If a person (or government) is observant, clever and careful – but, still wise enough to know when to take immediate action – that person will day be able to become a great leader. And to become a great leader, doesn’t happen over night: ‘Many moons,’ as the elders say. Wisdom: can be observed in a person in the way they do every day choirs; their movements, their moods and in some rare cases – you can see it in their eyes, hear it in their speech even in the way they carry them selves, as they walk among us.
These rare individuals command a room just by their presents. They get respect from the very young to the very old. They know just what to say and how to say it. I’ve seen men who where drunk out of their minds, belligerent, argumentative and aggressive – then in walks a person who can look the man in the eyes and with finesse, he’ll talk the drunken man out of his stupor.

If you have a dog who behaves badly, you, sir or madam, have an animal that’s smarter than you. If your child has no manners, then you are as much to blame as the rotten kid, and it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be voted, Chief. If you learn from your mistakes, you could one day be Chief material. If you know when to hold’um and when to fold’um – you could be Chief material. You’d also have to be a great listener, gather all the facts; not hear-say, from a third person, who heard it at the hair dressers. “Just the facts, Madam!” Then you could have the right stuff to be a future leader.

‘Mistakes,’ are meant to be in the past, not in the future. With age comes wisdom, if you’ve walked a certain path, many times, you’ll know there is; flat ground, steep ground and even uneven ground – right? So if you take a young child for a walk on this path, you’ll know to warn him of the dangers – right? And every generation that follows will know – right? So, I ask you: “Why are we being lead by people who repeat the same mistakes as the previous governments?”

I found myself in trouble, because someone was impersonating me. I lost my driver’s licence because of it, along with my ability to make a living. I had proof that I was in a different part of the country when certain events took place, in another part of the province – they had the wrong guy! The people who where in charge wouldn’t listen to ‘common sense.’ I was no more than a ‘number’ to them – I was placed into the bureaucratic machine and processed. It was a month of phone calls to 1-800-HELL, letters, faxes and e-mails with no results, no driver’s licence, no pay cheques, nothing – not even an apology!

I was trying to communicate with a deaf giant, who didn’t care about my little, insignificant problem. Then it hit me – I was talking to the wrong people all the time! So I called up the newspapers, radio and television stations … BANG, POW, ZAP! Within 24 hours of my story hitting the press – I had my driver’s licence back in my ass pocket!

The lesson in this story is: This could happen to you. And the wisdom in this story is: Vote for wisdom. And the moral is: The government only listens to the media, not you!


Dear reader: Please feel free to contact, B. H. Bates at: