Though much of the Native American lifestyle has been threatened since the 1800’s, the tribes that remain still live by rules that they created hundreds of years ago. The Native American culture is based on spirituality, and they have a tremendous amount of respect for the Earth we live on and the gifts it provides us.
As one of the oldest set of rules our Earth still knows, there is a lot we can take from the Native American way of life.
1. Get up early to pray
Rise when the sun does to make the most of the day and pray as often as you can throughout the day. We have a lot to be thankful for, so we should take the time to appreciate it.
2. Be kind to those who have not found their right path
Often, we can be quick to anger when someone doesn’t follow the rules that we live by. However, anyone who is troubled should be treated with kindness and should be guided back to the place they belong.
3. Find yourself in your manner
This is a solo mission, and no one else should interfere with the process. Though people may take the same path, or be present along the way, it is up to you to pave your future.
4. A guest in your home should be made to feel welcome
Never be rude to someone visiting your home, and always ensure they have the best you can offer them – that includes food, drink, and the most comfortable room.
5. Earn what you take
Don’t assume something to be yours, unless you have earned it in some way. Respect people’s property, and don’t decide anything for yourself that you don’t deserve.
6. Respect what the Earth has given us
Never mistreat a plant, animal or person. These are the gifts of Mother Nature and should be treated as such.
7. Be true to the wishes and words of others
Allow a person to speak their mind, and never try to tear them down for what they think. When you disagree, you may discuss the matter after they have finished speaking.
8. Never talk behind someone’s back
We as a nation love to gossip, but Native Americans believe that you are inspiring negative energy, which will only come back at you twice as hard.
9. Be forgiving
Every person makes mistakes, and it is essential that we forgive quickly when someone has made an innocent or naïve judgment.
10. Bad thoughts are harmful to your health
Negativity is thought to affect your mental health, body, and spirit in a wrong way. It’s important to remember positively and aim for a right attitude at all times.
11. Nature is a part of us, and not something that belongs to us
Nature is a part of the Earth that gave us life, and so is equal to us. It is part of our being and gives us life through our air, our food and our crops. It should never be presumed to belong to us.
12. Children are our future and should be respected
Our children grow to be the great minds of our future. They should be treated well and respected the way we would a grown adult.
13. Never try to hurt somebody’s emotions
If you stab someone’s heart, yours will be stuck in return. To cause someone unnecessary emotional pain is a bad thing, and it will always come back to you.
14. Still be honest and true
Never lie for the sake of saving yourself. The truth will even work more in your favor, though it may hurt at the time.
15. Create a healthy balance in your life
Don’t give in too much to any one aspect of your life. Be kind to your mental self, spiritual self, emotional self and physical self, but do not overindulge yourself in any one area.
16. Be conscious in your thoughts
Always be aware of how your thoughts will translate when enacted upon, and take responsibility for the things that you do.
17. Respect the property of others
Never damage or touch something that doesn’t belong to you without explicit permission. Invading someone’s private space is a sin in itself.
18. Be yourself before anyone else
Don’t let others persuade you away from your true self. If you are not true to yourself, you can’t expect to be faithful to anyone else.
19. Respect other’s beliefs and never enforce your own
Allow people to follow whatever religion they choose without judgment from you. It’s their life, and they can do with it what they wish.
20. Share happiness and wealth around
If you have stumbled across a good fortune, spare a thought for the people who haven’t. Be charitable and kind to all, especially those who don’t have as much as you do.
These rules can date back to hundreds of years ago, but there’s a reason these rules still apply; human nature never changes, and it’s important to be conscious in what we do so that we don’t stray from being good. If in doubt, follow these rules, and you can never go too far wrong.
Featured Image Courtesy: The featured image is the artwork of Kirby Sattler. Check out more of Kirby Sattler’s work here.
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About the Author: Hayley Anderton is a Creative Writing graduate from Liverpool. She’s a freelance writer and the self-published novelist of the LGBT YA book, Double Bluff. She doesn’t go anywhere without a notepad and has been writing ever since she can remember. Her other interests include baking, talking about politics and feminism, and snuggling up with her cat. She has dreams of traveling the world with her best friends, and of being a well-known author someday.