During my first couple of weeks at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota someone told me about the Sankofa bird. The Sankofa Bird is a symbol that is used to explain the Sankofa  a concept derived from the Akan people of West Africa. Simply put the concept of the Sankofa says that ‘one must return to the past in order to move forward.’ What I found interesting is the portrayal of the Sankofa Bird. The Sankofa bird is flying forward while looking backward with an egg in its mouth. It seems strange, if not impossible that a bird should fly forward while looking backward. And in everyday endeavors it is difficult to move forward while looking back because one must ‘look where they are going’. The concept of the Sankofa does not downplay the future while glorifying the past but challenges us to embrace the past and the future in a harmonious and balanced way. As growing leaders in development and social entrepreneurship we all have visions and dreams that we are pursuing every day and I believe the concept of the Sankofa bird offers very useful insight on how best we can move the vision forward. We should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. We are a product of our past experiences and whatever we have learnt, enjoyed, achieved, lamented or initiated can all be harnessed and used to progress forward and make our visions a reality.

1 thought on “The Sankofa Bird-moving the vision forward”

  1. JOE ANN COLE says:

    Your Statement had much Relevance then and ESPECIALLY now in November 2020 for African
    Americans. There are a group of people who consider themselves ‘superior’ to other fellow
    Human Beings and feel their way of life is threaten and the only way forward is ‘genocide’ for
    People of Color, Especially Black People.
    “Whatever is Hidden Away Will be Brought Out into the Open and WHATEVER is Covered
    Up WILL be Found and Brought to Light. Luke 8:17
    TRUTH Transcends Illusions…SPIRIT Has Plans. “One is NEVER afraid of the Unknown,
    one is AFRAID of the Known coming to an end” (J Krishnamurti).
    “It is No Measure of Health to Be Well Adjusted to a Profoundly Sick Society”(J Krishnamurti).
    A lot of people are “waking up” to bloody history of America and Realizing the Cost.
    When Morality comes up against profit, it is Seldom that profit loses (Shirley Chisholm).
    The ONLY WAY Forward is to See Each other the way our CREATOR, GOD, see us..HUMANITY.
    “The Sole Meaning of Life is to Serve Humanity”(Leo Tolstoy).

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