“Wisdom represents a demonstrated superior ability to understand the nature and behavior of things, people, or events.This results in an increased ability to predict behaviour or events which then may be used to benefit self or others….This relies on the individual’s ability to generate a mental representation of the self (cognitive, emotional, and physical), the external world, and the dynamic relationship of the self with the external world.” Dr. Legesse
“Thus, many statements of Indigenous wisdom such as ‘we are all related’, ‘respect the land’ and ‘never take more than you need’ are simple, direct moral instructions from which complex social, economic, cultural and environmental processes unfold”.
Perhaps the most important is relationality, the principle that connects and inter-relates the different spheres of life. Each thing has a relationship with each other thing and with the totality of all things. Hence relationships are not only multidimensional but also multilevel in that the micro-world of personal experience has direct implications for macro-worlds of community and “country”.
In Indigenous knowledge traditions the whole of the socio-cultural system is shaped around reciprocal relationships with local natural environments. This includes systems of governance and leadership, economy, exchange and trade, language, social, religions and cultural practices and more broadly Indigenous life worlds and worldview.
Indigenous worldviews speak of wisdom within a much more connected matrix of the human, the natural, the historical, the environmental and the communal. To be a wise leader cannot be separated from participating in the relational life of one’s “country”. This relationally lens plays out most particularly in Indigenous attitudes towards place and the natural world where a concept of “sacred geography” and “sacred sites” lies at the heart of what it means to be wise. We have called this the “sacred ecology lens” because it involves a sense of spiritual connectedness that includes and balances multiple human and biological systems.