|This is an African symbol for bravery, fearlessness and valor. It translates as “KWATAKYE ATIKO”, which means “Hairstyle of Kwatakye.” Kwatakye was a famous, fearless African warrior and captain. Though bravery does not mean being actually fearless – as bravery coexists quite comfortably with fear. Bravery just allows us to look the seemingly insurmountable in the eye and proceed anyway. This is actually the essence of hope: we gather all the facts, we learn all we can about what we are up against. And then we choose to focus on what can be done.
This ancient symbol has four bars – perhaps symbolizing arms and legs – pointing out in opposite directions and two spirals curling in towards the center. The bars remind us to reach out and grasp what can help us or protect ourselves by warding off what cannot. The spirals encourage us to look within ourselves – mind and spirit – for the strength to endure, the wisdom to make the right choices and the patience to await things all in their proper time.
Companions of hope, these are all attributes that we will be called upon to nurture. As we travel this path of cancer treatment we pray for the ability to be brave, wise and show valor despite our uncertainty.