Hope you all had a good Labor Day weekend. Mine was very busy as is becoming much too frequent for me of late. Upon wondering what to blog about today, I decided that it might be fun to spread around some wisdom straight from the mouths of various American Indian tribes. Many of these wisdoms come from the book, The Soul Would Have No Rainbow if the Eyes Had No Tears by Guy A Zona.
Interestingly, long before bad foods, war, treachery and other forms of treason came about, the First Americans were commented by the Europeans who met them, to be a physically beautiful people. But there was more. Europeans who cared to listen found that there was also much wisdom to be found in our native cultures. Benjamin Franklin was one such individual, but there were many, many others. So I thought we might delve into a little bit of that wisdom today. I’ll tell you the quote and then what tribe that it comes from, okay?
Here’s one that I’d love to post on every government building — “The mark of shame does not wash away.” That’s from the Omaha tribe. Or how about his one from the Crow tribe: “One has to face fear or forever run from it.”
Another man said it in a different way — I don’t know the exact words, but L. Ron Hubbard once said something along the line of, “There comes a time when one must turn and face the demons that pursue one.” Probably not exact, but in these modern times, I think it’s a good piece of wisdom.
Here’s a piece of wisdom that I like from the Fox: “When you have learned about love, you have learned about God.” And another one from the Lakota that I also think is very pertinent to today’s world — especially there in Washington DC of late, “There is a hole at the end of the theif’s path.”
Here’s one I particularly like from the Hopi: “A shady lane breeds mud.” Don’t you love the imagery with that one?
This next one is from the Cheyenne, and I think it is quite aesthetic: “When you lose the rhythm of the drumbeat of God, you are lost from the peace and rhythm of life.” Isn’t that beautiful?
And here’s another one that really touches my heart: “Never part from the chiefs’ path, no matter how short or beautiful the byway may be.” This is from the Seneca.
Here’s one from my adopted tribe, the Blackfeet: “Those that lie down with dogs get up with fleas.” I love the analogy in all of these little bits of wisdom.
The Seneca were part of the Iroquois Confederation and here’s a little piece of wisdom from another one of the tribes in that Confederation, The Tuscarora, “Man has responsibility, not power.”
Now that’s an interesting one, I think. Again very appropriate for today’s age, I think. Now here’s a quote from the Shawnee that shines light on a very deep American principle: “Trouble no man about his religion — respect him in his views and demand that he respect yours.” Wise. Wise…
How about this one from the Lumbee: “Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future.”
Here’s a couple that I love: “When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, strike first.” That’s from the Navaho. And now from the Iroquois, “The greatest strength is gentleness.”
Oh, and don’t you love this one from the Shawnee: “Show respect for all men, but grovel to none.” I love that one. Doesn’t it remind you of THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS when Hawkeye turns to the British soldier and says: “I don’t consider myself subject to much at all.” Or something to that effect — that’s probably not an exact quote.
Now, this from the Sioux is astute, I think: “Guard your tongue in youth, and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people.”
Okay, this is probably too long a post already, so I’ll leave you with a couple of sayings that touched me: This first one is from the Twanas tribe: “Never see an old person going to carry water without getting a bucket and going in their stead.” Also from the Navaho, “Always assume your guest is tired, cold, and hungry, and act accordingly.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog today. Please come on in and tell me some of your favorite wisdoms. I look forward to hearing from you today. By the way, stay tuned with me. I will be republishing nine of my earlier works that have been out of print for years and years now. They’ll be coming out again in the form of ebooks and the publisher is Samhain. So stay tuned. By the way, many of those books, I don’t even have copies of anymore…