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I have thought about the role children play in the lives of adults. Our role as stewards reminds me of the Native American proverb: We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. With responsible adult and community stewardship, this is possible. It takes a special effort, but it is its own reward.

Nature’s gift;
Craft and hone–
Appreciate their future;
Nurture and cherish–
Mature under our watchful gaze,
Cradled in loving community.
Elders shepherd;
Care and tend–
A most precious flock
Share wise words
Open hearts
Act prudently
Generous, ceaseless, joyful work.

About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

29 responses »

  1. I agree completely with the sentiments.

  2. It’s a beautiful proverb – so packed with truth.

  3. I love the proverb. Your words are beautiful.


  4. optimisticgladness

    This one is my favorite!

  5. Well said, Ivon. Especially the ceaseless and joyous part! But I related to it all. Being a mom is the hardest most exhausting most wonderful most important thing I’ve ever done.

  6. Agree’s with Naomi <<<<has four kids… If I hadn't got spayed when I did My house would look like the Walton's!

  7. Love your blog! I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. A link to the award rules and information is provided below:

  8. They should hand out those wise words at prenatal classes and clinics across the world! Yet there are still places where there is neither prenatal care, nor inherited wisdom to fall back on.

  9. Professions for PEACE

    This is one of the most beautiful poems I’ve read… incredibly wise concepts put together into a lovely flowing piece of poetry. I love the imagery of children being safely cradled in community, and having elders to shepherd, and your conclusion elicits a quiet ‘wow’ from my lips: “Generous, ceaseless, joyful work.” Beautifully done, and generously shared here with us all. Thank You! Namaste ~Gina

  10. Pingback: BLESSED « Francine In Retirement

  11. I’ve nominated you for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award. Please see here.


  12. Thank you so much, Ivon! Love the Native American proverb: “…we borrow it from our children.”

  13. Pingback: The Peace of Wild Things « Teacher as Transformer

  14. A most precious flock indeed. I’m glad that you are one of the ones tending to them. Thank you for the service that you provide to humanity, Ivon.
    PS I like poem.

  15. “Stewardship” should sit at the heart of everything we do involving society and this planet.


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