American Wisdom, page one
live your life that the fear of
death can never enter your heart.
do not force their way with great strife. Flowers
to perfection slowly in the sun. Don't be in a
spiritual matters. Go step by step, and
be very sure.
tell me this one little thing, if you have any sense.
Which of these
two is the wisest and happiest--he who labors without ceasing
obtains, and that with great trouble, enough to live on, or he
in comfort and finds all that he needs in the pleasures of
hunting and fishing?
major difference between our people and those of the
dominant society today is humility. Among our people,
matter how far or how high a person goes, they know they
are small in the presence of God and the universe.
life is Wakan. So also is everything which exhibits power,
whether in action, as the winds and drifting clouds, or in
passive endurance, as the boulder by the wayside. For even
the commonest sticks and stones have a spiritual essence which
must be revered as a manifestation of the all-pervading
mysterious power that fills the universe.
The thing wrong with the world is that people
don't have instructions.
We were told almost three hundred years ago that people would be
coming to us and asking for our instructions. We were told
in the 1700s that there'd be a day when white people would be
to us, asking for instructions and finding out the way we think.
Indians joke that when they see a white man coming, they see
mark walking down the road. That's not one of the things I
I feel for the ones who feel lost. I tell them to use
common sense and listen.
The Creator has the answers. A lot of people are searching
they don't have. They're searching for the wisdom of a
whole way of life.
So they come to the Indians. That's why I say it's in the
that they are coming to us, because they are wanting to learn
our way of life,
what it is all about. It's true, I get a lot of people,
even college people,
who want to know how to be a "Human Being." We
don't laugh at the
white people, Most of the Indians can't laugh because even they
been brought up in the Longhouse like I have. They've got
to learn too.
Even some of the chiefs have had to learn and I don't know
how much they have learned.
When you arise in the
morning, give thanks for the morning light,
for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and
of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the
fault lies in yourself.
of conduct were just as rigid as the laws of any other people,
but force seldom was used to enforce good conduct. Each
person was his own judge. Deceitfulness was a
crime. We lived according to our own standards and
principles, not for what others might think of us.
among my people was like traveling in a canoe. The man
sat in front and paddled the canoe. The woman sat in the
stern, but she steered.
|Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep with rain.
who know how to play can easily leap over the adversities of
And one who knows how to sing and laugh never brews mischief.
on to what is good, even if it is a handful of dirt.
Hold on to what you believe, even if it is a tree that stands by
Hold on to what you must do, even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life, even if it is easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand, even if I have gone away from you.
It is our desire that we and you should be as one
one mind, and one body, thus becoming one people, entertaining
a mutual love and regard for each other, to be preserved
firm and entire, not only between you and us, but between
your children and our children, to all succeeding generations.
long time ago, the Creator came to Turtle Island and said to the
"You will be the keepers of the Mother Earth. Among
you I will give the wisdom
about Nature, about the interconnectedness of all things, about
about living in harmony. You Red People will see the
secrets of Nature. You
will live in hardship and the blessing of this is you will stay
close to the
Creator. The day will come when you will need to share the
secrets with other
people of the earth because they will stray from their Spiritual
The time to start sharing is today.
American Wisdom, page one
that you are all people and that all people are you.
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|Love is something you and I must have.
We must have it because
feeds upon it.
We must have it because without it we
become weak and faint.
Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails.
love we can no longer look
confidently at the world.
We turn inward and
begin to feed upon
our own personalities,
and little by little we destroy ourselves.
With it we are creative. With
it we march tirelessly. With
with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.
Chief Dan George