USAA employee David C., supplier and contract analytics advisor, says the lessons of his Native American ancestors apply to both his personal and professional life.
From perseverance to sustainability and balance, there is a great deal to learn from the culture and history of our nation’s first inhabitants.
For David C., the lessons of his Pueblo ancestors translate not only to his personal life but the mission at USAA.
As a descendent of Pueblo Indians who settled in northern New Mexico, I am awed by the adversities my Native American ancestors overcame simply to survive. And I’ve often marveled at the rich culture created from their struggles.
Of the many beliefs central to Native American values, there are two I regularly strive to incorporate into my work. The first is the credo that decisions made today should create a sustainable outcome seven generations into the future, and the second is to recognize that there is an innate balance, rhythm, and harmony to nature.
In my view, the Native American “seven generations” philosophy perfectly aligns with USAA’s goal to sustainably serve our membership for the next 100 years. This alignment is more than an emphasis on long-term planning. Crucially, motivation to strive for long-term goals arises from Native American successes such as development of modern corn by patient, sustained cultivation of small grasses.
The second Native American value I try to include in my work can be illustrated by their ancient practice of planting beans, corn, and squash together to enable more robust growth of each plant and provide for a nutritionally balanced harvest. USAA employees can relate to this Native American perspective by recognizing that a similar dynamic exists among work, vacation and family.
Growing up in a military family meant I had to make new friends with every move, which enabled me to experience many cultures. As I reflect on my childhood memories of being Native American, I realize moving so often has given me a better appreciation for all cultures including my own.