A Woman's Voice


GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part 2 – continued) ~ August 2, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday ~ part 2

In the last chapter, I wrote about the Cherokee grandfather who was explaining life to his young grandson. In Canada, we have come to call the people who were here first as First Nation people. They have asked to be referred to in this way. When we were young we always referred to them as the Indian people. Over the years, this has become a derogatory term to describe our oldest ancestors. I notice as we travel through the United States, especially through the southern states, that the First Nation people refer to themselves as Indians. We have visited many Indian Craft sales along the way and have enjoyed many facets of their culture. The signs are made by the Indian people themselves and displayed as Indian Arts and Crafts. I have a love for the Indian people as I do for all people no matter what they choose to call themselves.

The reason I have gone into this preamble is because I want to share a little story with you about an Indian philosophy that I read about many years ago. I don’t want to say that it is a Cherokee, Cree, Erie, Apache, or any other particular tribe/Indian philosophy because I don’t know which one told the story. I also don’t want to offend my Canadian First Nation people by calling it an Indian story, nor do I want to take from the American Indian who has not asked to be called otherwise. Its origin may very well be from the American Indian. “A man’s feet should be planted in his own country, but his eyes should survey the world.”[i] I would like to share this story with all those who can identify with it and appreciate that it was told by an older person in order to spread the wealth of his/her wisdom.

It has been a long time since I have read this story, and it is not one that I have kept in my night table drawer. If I don’t explain it perfectly, it is not for lack of trying. The Indian or elder in this story was describing that each of our bodies has four rooms in it. The elder goes on to say that these four rooms are spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. The spiritual room, of course, consists of our faith and our relationship with our Creator or God. The mental room is comprised of our education, our knowledge, and our desire to learn. It deals with our intelligence. The emotional room consists of the happy times, the sad ones, what brings us the greatest pleasure, what makes us angry, and any or all emotions that we could possibly feel. Not all emotions are positive; nevertheless our human nature is comprised of the full spectrum.

Last, but not least, is the physical room where we concern ourselves with our actual body and the condition that it is in. According to this wise older Indian, in order for each of us to have a healthy, well-balanced life, we must enter into each of these rooms on a daily basis. If we don’t do this, our lives will not be as peaceful and as harmonious as they can be.

Each area of our lives must be satisfied in order to find true happiness. “Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even.”[ii] It’s not to say that we won’t have hardships to face, it only means that if we are a more balanced person we will have better skills to cope with what may come our way. It has come to my attention that one of the most difficult things for us as human beings is to find that balance. As previously stated, with the stressful and busy lives that a lot of us lead, it may be hard to really find the time to follow the sage advice that is being offered. Although, I must admit, that by not at least trying to follow some of it to a small extent, it will be hard to truly enjoy life to the fullest. “There is no achievement without goals.”[iii]

to be continued….


[i] “George Santayana quotes,”
The Quotations Page, http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/George_Santayana.

[ii] “Horace quotes,” The
Quotations Page, http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/2954.html.

[iii] “Rober J. Mckain
quotes,” Thinkexist.com. http://thinkexist.com/quotes/robert_j_mckain/.

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  1. […] “A man’s feet should be planted in his own country, but his eyes should survey the world.”[i] I would like to share this story with all those who can identify with it and appreciate that it was […]


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