You Say You Want a Resolution?

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Raven by Aaron Paquette
Raven by Aaron Paquette

Aaron Paquette ArtworkIt all starts with kindness

EDMONTON – Aboriginal – You say you want a Resolution, well you know, you’d better free your mind instead.

There’s this unappreciated vorpal blade we call kindness. It’s already there in all of us, even if it’s only a small, fragile glimmer. It can be the driving force to revolutionizing your life and ultimately, the world.

It costs nothing to be kind in every aspect of your existence, as long as you don’t count the loss of your angry, fearful pride as too dear a price.

To be kind means to be kin. To be family. Families burdened by pain become wrecking machines. Families freed by acceptance and love become healing places.

Many people scoff at healing, at the good red road, at salvation. They misconstrue it as flowery thinking instead of the brave shedding and casting off of millennia of spiritual chains. The hard work of burning away the bonds and baggage of human history.

They are in pain. They see division, battle, struggle and hypocrisy. They see injustice, betrayal, avarice and blood.

They are not wrong. All of that exists and more.

Here is a secret:

If our seventh generation is to live, you MUST see these things, too.

And we do.

The incredible power for change rests not in simply seeing these things and then getting angry, sad, depressed or bitter.

The incredible power rises in transforming these destructive realities into something else.

And it starts with kindness.

This is the most practical action there is. It’s not about flitting through the tulips pretending things are all wonderful. It’s about gaining a greater perspective.

It’s about rising above.

It’s about becoming a friend to all life, to seeing that it’s all connected. To aligning your soul with the soul of creation, rather than of destruction.

Destructive motives and actions won’t fix anything, will they?

Fighting against something never stops the cycle of fighting, does it? Not long term, anyway.

Kindness. Clear thought. Clean soul.

That’s the healing humanity needs.

You offer it. That’s all. You can never force it.

Plant a seed and let it grow. But be patient. That fragile seed won’t flower faster by tugging on the tender shoots.

We don’t have to re-solve anything.

We can re-new.

As we move into this arbitrary new year, let’s not try to move mountains.

Our actions, choices and intent ARE the mountain.

We need only move ourselves.

Be kind.

Hiy hiy

Aaron Paquette

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Aaron Paquette is one of Canadaʼs premiere First Nations artists known for his bright colours, strong lines and for sharing new ways of looking at age-old experiences and beliefs. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Aaron has been creating art for the past 20 years. He apprenticed and has become both a Cathedral Stained Glass artist and a Goldsmith, influences of which can be seen in the line and structure of his paintings – displayed in various galleries throughout the country. Aaron is also an experienced facilitator, trainer and engaging public speaker. He has worked with the Royal Conservatory’s adjunct program -Learning Through the Arts- as both a Mentor Artist and as the First Nations Representative and Consultant in Alberta. This experience focused on providing the skills and background knowledge for infusing differentiated learning within the general curriculum in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Aaron has collaborated with Ministries, Teachers’ Associations, and various community members and teachers, providing region wide teacher workshops and in- school experiences related to the art curriculum that also provide an FNMI perspective. Through this collaboration, he also provides student workshops, professional development sessions and artist-in- residence programs. A skilled communicator, Aaron has worked with Alberta Education in reconciliation, specifically between communities and school administration. He has worked for years with the Edmonton Public School Board with both in-class sessions and special sessions for promising young artists. The Catholic School Boards in the Central and Northern Alberta region have also enlisted Aaron in many projects ranging from elementary school visits that tie art into curricular learning to mural painting with High School students.