Presiding Elder 2002 Comments before Sedgwick County/Wichita County Commission

Posted: March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Presiding Elder Jihad T. Muqtasid – Address to the Sedgwick County/Wichita Board of County Commissioners, extracted from the Regular Meeting of the Board on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 in the County Commission Meeting Room in the Courthouse in Wichita, Kansas.

 Throughout all of recorded human history, African societies have found it beneficial, even necessary to seek council from the elders of their communities.  The elders were seen as having greater experience, greater wisdom and a more balanced viewpoint and a greater connection to the ancestors and their ancestral spirit.  For these reasons, the elders were central figures in the life of their respective communities.  Guidance was issued from the elders, values and standards were exemplified by the elders, conflicts and disputes were mediated by the elders and respect and honor were paid to the elders.

The elders in these communities acted in an organized fashion, through elder council. These councils were generally headed by either a chief or a presiding elder and a queen mother.  The structure and scope of each council varied according to the need of their respective community but they all shared a common link in that they all recognized the value of assembling the collective wisdom of the people and mobilizing it for the betterment and survival of the whole.

We in America, even specifically here in Wichita, can learn a valuable lesson from our ancestors and kin, as we watch our communities slowly drift further away from the lessons and values that once defined us.  We could benefit from the assembled wisdom of our elders more now than ever before. 

Our community has lost its respect for elders.  Our community has lost respect for the temperance and wisdom that only years of experience can teach.  Our community has lost faith in the connection between our lives and those of our ancestors.  Subsequently, our community has lost its way.

— Presiding Elder Jihad Talib Muqtasid, representing The African American Council of Elders, Wichita/Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kansas

Return to the way, the way of reciprocity. Not merely taking, not merely offering. Giving, but only to those from whom we receive in equal measure. Receiving, but only from those whom we give in equal measure. How easy, how just the way. Yet how easily, how utterly you have forgotten it.” – Ayi Kwei Armah

Comments
  1. Billie Knighton says:

    I am thrilled to get this wonderful piece. It moved me so much this weekend when I heard it and to have it put together with a picture of Jihad makes it a treasure.

    Billie

    _____

    From: The African American Council of Elders ~ Wichita/Sedgwick County, KS [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 4:33 PM To: billie.knighton@gmail.com Subject: [New post] Presiding Elder 2002 Comments before Sedgwick County/Wichita County Commission

    Wichita Council of Elders posted: ” Presiding Elder Jihad T. Muqtasid – Address to the Sedgwick County/Wichita Board of County Commissioners, extracted from the Regular Meeting of the Board on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 in the County Commission Meeting Room in the Courthouse in Wichita, Kansa”

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