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This morning when I woke up I remembered a hand-written list I once read on the wall of my thesis advisor, Renato Rosaldo, and his wife, Mary Pratt years ago. It read something like:

One should take care of (in order of importance):

  1. Self
  2. Partner and/or spouse
  3. Kids
  4. Family
  5. Friends
  6. Work

What does this mean?

One first must take care of one’s own physical and emotional well being. In order to be able to give, help, provide, share, love others, one must first have a healthy sense of self. If one is physically ill, one does not have the strength and energy to be of use to others. If one is emotionally self-neglectful or unbalanced, one distorts the world around you and thus makes poor decisions in your interrelations with others.

One’s partner is the individual whom one has chosen to be the backup in case one is weakened by life. The challenge is to not overburden one’s partner by expecting him or her to be everything for you. At the same time, one must occasionally depend on him and her to demonstrate one’s faith in their ability to be a partner to  you.

Kids are the ones most dependent on you to model possible ways of being, hopefully positive ones. The challenging of parenting is moving from being responsible for one’s kids to being merely responsive, so that they can take responsibility for their own decisions.

Family provides the additional daily requirements for love and affection that is not provided from one’s partner. The advantage of family is that they often have deep knowledge of how your needs for love and affection that go back to your earliest youth.

Friends enable you to safely explore various aspects of your self that don’t always find expression just through your family. They ensure that one remains a well-rounded individual with one’s own set of interests and values.

Work (whether domestic or worldly) provides a sense of purpose and focus in one’s ability to think about and shape a future for oneself and others.

Many of the dysfunctionalities of life consists of getting this order wrong. The workaholic places more importance on work than family and his (or her) own physical and emotional well being. The “Supermom” places her kids before both her partner or herself. For some one hanging out with friends becomes more important than spending time with the kids or the partner, who feel neglected. For another the focus on the partner’s needs is so great that he or she neglects his or her own needs (this is the seed for any time of physical and/or emotional abuse).

What is your priority?

Art Raffle/Fundraiser for the Family of Jimmy Rencountre

A friend of mine, Charles Rencountre, a Lakota sculptor who lives in Santa Fe, is holding a raffle of his sculture Wicasa Wakan to help his older brother Jimmy with medically related and cost of living expenses for his family.
Raffle for Jimmy_Page_1

His brother was diagnosed with 4th stage metastasized lymphoma in October of 2008. Charles can explain things better in his own words  Download Raffle for Jimmy PDF 5.8MB:

If you aren’t familiar with South Dakota, I will tell you that there is not a lot of resources up here for the Lakota or Dakota tribes. Poverty is the common ground of many people in the area. My brother is 52. Jimmy is a father of five children and a grandfather to ten. His youngest two are still at home in high school and middle school.

The diagnosis came after a year of stomach and back pains. The seriousness of these symptoms was not understood by the local Indian Hospital and the pain became so severe that he was eventually prescribed an MRI that revealed this condition.

My brother and our family have a lot of faith. The doctors told him that they couldn’t do anything to help him other than help him manage pain. And the way that we’ve come together is through prayer and our practice of Lakota ways. Recently with my brother, the family did four days of ceremony with a medicine man from Pine Ridge. My brother’s spirit is strong and he is not afraid whatever the Creator has in store for him.

What probably concerns him more than anything is the financial needs and debt of his wife and children. How can he help them to live? When I found out about his illness I wanted to do whatever I could to alleviate the additional monetary stress. As boys my big brother Jimmy was my protector, he’d take on any kids that tried to harm me when we were walking home from school. He taught me how to hold my own and stand up for what was important to me. Now it is my turn to stand up for him.

I came up with this idea of donating and then raffling my work Wicasa Wakanto potentially raise $24,000 dollars for a family fund that will help his wife, children (and grandchildren). The raffle is a total of 240 entries raffled at 100 dollars. I will offer this raffle internationally via email. Tickets will begin selling June of 2009 for three months. The cut off date will be September first of 2009. If we sell less than 240 tickets, then we’ll raise less than $24,000 dollars. And the chances of winning go up. If it reaches the goal and we sell the 240 tickets, then that number will be the cut off.

The winner’s name will be drawn on September 15th. The draw will take place at a public dinner and Jimmy’s youngest child Benjamin will do the honor of representing his father. My brother Jimmy understands what is being done on the behalf of his children (and grandchildren). He thanks you for your participation in this raffle.


Each ticket entry for the Bronze and Mixed Media Piece Wicasa Wakan is $100 dollars.
To enter please send to Charles Rencountre:

  1. a self addressed stamed envelope,
  2. a note that includes your email address
  3. and a check of $100 for each entry.

Please write the check out to Wicasa Wakan.

His mailing address is:
Charles Rencountre
159C Calle Ojo Feliz
Santa Fe, New Mexico
87501 USA

It will be deposited in a Wells Fargo account in Black Hawk, South Dakota that his trusted friend (and brother) Craig Engel opened for the raffle. He is the only person in charge of the account and will be the one distributing it to the family in mid September. If you need to verify the legitimacy of the account you may call the Wells Fargo bank in Black Hawk directly. Their number is (605) 787-9224.

Charles will send you an email copy of your raffle number(s) as well as a hard copy letter. When they
have 240 raffle tickets sold, they will inform you of the date of the drawing beforehand as well as
send you the YouTube link of the draw itself. They want you to see the family you have connected to and helped through participating in this raffle.

Thank you for you support of this event and for your interest in this art piece.