Thinking of the past and all that transpired can prove disheartening, especially when it comes to Native Americans. Pondering what would have been, what could have been if these peaceful tribes had never been raided, their land and lives never taken, is a weighty task, because we know we cannot change history. We can only reflect on how it has shaped us, and how we can use that knowledge to move forward positively.
And yet, living in a world where many people find themselves attached to the idea of owning expensive homes, clothes, cars, and various other devices, and living on a planet constantly fighting to overcome the unnatural side of man-made production, it is hard not to wonder what life would be like if Native Americans had never been so wrongfully removed.
Would we be more in touch with nature? More able to connect with animals? Understand the stars? It seems so far away from our modern reality for many of us, but perhaps reading the following wisdoms these indigenous people shared will help us to shift our perspective and imprint in a cosmic, earthly, and universal way.
1. “Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts.” – Hopi
2.“It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.” – Apache
3. “All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.”
4. “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.”
– Tribe Unknown
5. “When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.” – Arapaho
6. “Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.” – Blackfoot
7. “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” – Blackfoot
8. “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” – Cherokee
9. “Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river.”
10. “Our first teacher is our own heart.” – Cheyenne
11. “Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator.” – Mohawk
12. “Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same.” – Crow
13. “There is no death, only a change of worlds.” – Duwamish
14. “You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.” – Navajo
15. “All dreams spin out from the same web.” – Hopi
16. “When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.” – Lakota
17. “Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.” – Tribe Unknown
18. “Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant.” – Kiowa
19. “Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future.” – Lumbee
20. “If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” – Minquass
21. “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.” – Sioux
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