Tired Servant

I am completely ecstatic to be accepted to the inaugural cohort of the Native Leadership Institute which is administered by the American Indian Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Last weekend we had our first retreat in Cherokee, North Carolina. I was thrilled to begin this journey but very confused about what was in store for me. I always begin things mentally prepared to handle any outcome. I am not completely sure I was prepared for this outcome.

NLI  I sat at a table with some of the greatest tribal leaders of our time. I sat at a table with people that have been changing lives for years. I sat at a table with people who had personally changed my life. I could not believe that I was allowed to sit at this table.

Before long I realized exactly why I was here. I needed restoration. I needed energy. I needed someone or something to light my fire again. I needed to be reminded of my purpose. I needed to be reminded of my people….

My time spent at UNC-CH was passionate and filled with my desire to teach absolutely everyone I came into contact with about my people and their struggles. My mission had been to inform and make a path for my people. After four years, I had not only forgotten this mission, I had grown weary. I could no longer see the effects of my actions. My teachings were proven to be trivial. I was losing hope in myself, my community and my people.

I did not know the extent of this complacency until our morning closing on Sunday. As Mr. Greg Jacobs of the Coharie Tribe stood up and shared some words of wisdom with us. His comments were not only inspiring but eye-opening.

“I am a servant, but I came here a tired servant.”

These words resonated with me on so many levels. For years I had been a servant to my people and my mission. Everything I did was to honor my mission to educate, inspire and help my people. But I had grown weary, I was tired.

I had no real grasp of my own exhaustion until I was forced to come to terms with it. Family, beware of your own exhaustion. You are a living, breathing creation who needs fuel to continue to survive, to thrive. Beware of straying from your mission and seek out paths back to your mission. The Native Leadership Institute has done more than lead me back, it has inspired me to do more.

I came in a tired servant and I left with a willing and joyful heart. I can’t wait to put all these plans into action.


Miss Locklear


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