Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Living respectfully ~

I came across this quotation on a poster in a doctors waiting room and took comfort from it.  Attempting to trace its authorship on the Internet I came across a number of versions, all of which link to Native American teachings and most often attributed to Jasper Saunkeah, of the Cherokee.  (The title above is mine and not part of the text.)
Treat the Earth and those who dwell thereon with respect
Remain close to the Great Spirit
Show great respect for your fellow beings
Work together for the benefit of all Mankind
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed
Do what you know to be right
Look after the well-being of mind and body
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good
Be truthful and honest at all times
Take full responsibility for your actions.

Let us greet the dawn of a new day
When all can live as one with Nature
And peace reigns everywhere.

Oh Great Spirit, bring to our brothers
The wisdom of Nature, and the knowledge
That if her laws are obeyed
This land will again flourish
And grasses and trees will grow as before

Guide those that through their councils
Seek to spread the wisdom of their leaders to all people.
Heal the raw wounds of the Earth
And restore to our soul the richness
Which strengthens men's bodies
And makes them wise in their councils

Bring to all the knowledge that great cities
Live only through the bounty
Of the good earth beyond their paved streets
And towers of stone and steel.
It seems to me that these guidelines and aspirations could be applied anywhere to good effect.  They're practical and make sense.  Without the Earth we are nothing and have nothing, a point which seems to have escaped the minds of many living in consumerist societies out of contact with it.  It can also be accurately said that the absence of the principles set out in the first section is an indicator of a society in decline - one need not look far to see this. 

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