Since Thanksgiving I’ve been researching and drawn to all things Native American. I think maybe because my grandmother was Cherokee, I’m back on Virginia soil, and maybe because I think about what happened to them and the loss of their land and culture.

I found the below Native American Code of Ethics and many of these resonate with me as a way to live.

  1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often.
    The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
    I wake up now at 4:30 a.m. to get to work early and have since learned the value of rising early. Add prayer to the reading of the Tao. The Great Spirit will listen.
    2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path.
    Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem
    from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.
    ~More prayer.  The bullies, the mean, the angry, the lost. Don’t judge them, pray for them. 
    3.Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others
    to make your path for you. It is your road, and
    yours alone. Others may walk it with you,
    but no one can walk it for you.
    ~This has never been a problem for me.  I learned this lesson as the youngest of a family of superstar athletes. Track, basketball…tried them all…but ended up going my own way in HS with politics, tennis and acting. Have been following my own path ever since. Being willing to fail helps you win the battle of finding your own path. 
    4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration.
    Serve them the best food, give them the best
    bed and treat them with respect and honor.
    ~I’ve never been a very good hostess.  I just tell people to make themselves at home. I’ll have to work on this one, especially as a shop owner. 
    5. Do not take what is not yours whether from
    a person, a community,the wilderness or from a
    culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.
    ~Wow, coming from Native Americans and the lost of their entire culture and land. This is deep. I like this especially as I think of a program to help reduce crime in the Hampton Roads community. 
    6. Respect all things that are placed upon
    this earth – whether it be people or plant.
    ~I agree. I remember a time in Charlotte when the birds were my best friends. I wouldn’t dream of a day going by without having bird food in their bird feeder. 
    7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words.
    Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them.
    Allow each person the right to personal expression.
    ~When I read this I thought about how much I need to work on this one. I will work on this one daily. 
    8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative
    energy that you put out into the universe
    will multiply when it returns to you.
    ~Another good one. 
    9. All persons make mistakes.
    And all mistakes can be forgiven.
    ~Don’t hold grudges.  I was a master at this…holding grudges. I’ve worked on it over the years, so this is easier for me to do. I found holding grudges just held you in the past.  The older I’ve gotten the less time I feel I have and zero for living in the past. 
    10.Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind,
    body and spirit. Practice optimism.
    I agree.  Every time I hear the term “mental health” I think isn’t that just the mental chatter or internal dialogue?  What else is it other than your thoughts? Then I think about people who don’t meditate and wonder when do they ever get a break from all of that noise in their heads? You have to balance it with mantras and positive thoughts or it becomes mental illness.   
    11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us.
    They are part of your worldly family.
    12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant
    love in their hearts and water them with
    wisdom and life’s lessons. When they
    are grown, give them space to grow.

13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others.
The poison of your pain will return to you.
~Remember this everyday. Do not hurt others with my words, behavior or even thoughts. Counterbalance any hurtful thoughts with: “May you be happy.”
14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the
test of one’s will within this universe.
15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual
self, Emotional self, and Physical self – all need
to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out
the body to strengthen the mind. Grow
rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
~Balanced is planned.  It’s not haphazard. 
16. Make conscious decisions as to who
you will be and how you will react. Be
responsible for your own actions.
~Like the part about “how you will react”. Part of that is controlling emotions. 
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of
others. Do not touch the personal property of
others – especially sacred and religious
objects. This is forbidden.
~I can see how Native Americans see this as important. This is their land. American really belongs to them. They are the parents of this land. 
18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot
nurture and help others if you cannot
nurture and help yourself first.
For me this is about being healthy. After having a bad cold over the holidays this rings true…health is the first wealth. 
19. Respect others religious beliefs.
Do not force your belief on others.
~ I never could “knock on doors” I just couldn’t “make” others believe my “truth” just because I thought I’d found it.  People are entitled to their own beliefs. 
20. Share your good fortune with others.
Participate in charity.

All I keep thinking about when I think about the gift shop is being able to give back to the local community. I am looking forward to giving 10% to a local charity or a school. 


Source:Walking Times