Reflections on Leadership

Walter Dasheno

The question that needs to be asked is how should we, as young people, learn from the past, so that we can benefit ourselves, our brothers and sisters. Today, I look back at what I've accomplished in the course of my sixty years of life and wonder if could I have done better to improve my life or is this what I was destined for.

Human nature would say of course you can improve yourself, but you have to work hard and be accountable for your actions. Many times I have heard the expression “Time waits for no one.” Just these simple words may have altered something in someone's life.

Life revolves around our family, friends, associates, and environment. We often use the example that we learn from the mistakes we made in our lives to make changes to better our lives. Of course, some things may never change. These are the challenges for us today.

I do not have one person I could attest to for setting the best example of what I wanted to be. I had many role models: my father, my grandfathers and grandmothers, my godmother and my aunts and uncles, my relatives, my friends, and of course many of the traditional and cultural persons in my community and elsewhere. Other influences that have affected my life include politicians, actors and actresses, heroes in comic books and novels, and the musicians that have played and sung indigenous and world music.

I am forever grateful for the education that has been afforded to me in both the formal and the not-so-formal setting. My life has been blessed because I have learned from the most educated and the most knowledgeable persons that I have met in my life. I still learn from somebody that may be younger or older than me, as they may know something I don't know.

Your challenge to the future started the day you were born. Make the best of your life, don't be lazy, make the wisest and learned decisions, and be happy!

Walter Dasheno is the former governor of the Pueblo of Santa Clara.