December 27, 2007

Natural Laws Of The Cherokee

These "laws" have been passed down from generation to generation. This is what the Cherokee based their life on. By following these, one would live in harmony and balance with all of Creation.

1. The first thing one should do of the morning is to praise the Creator for your life and all of Creation. Asking Him for guidance through the day and thanking Him for providing another day for you. Recognizing Him as the only one true God.

2. Always keep fresh in your mind that everything has been created by God and deserve respect. Everything God has created has a purpose in life. We should honor these and treat them with kindness and generosity. Always assume that others are in need of something. Offer what you have to give.

3. When you find that you have more than you and your family need, then give the excess to someone who can use it.

4. When you say you are going to do something, or otherwise promise something, you are bound by your words. You cannot break it without permission from the person you have told this to.

5. Practice silence. This shows self-control, true courage, patience, dignity, reverence and internal peace. And by practicing silence you can build these characteristics up through time.

6. Never overindulge or underindulge on anything. Do all things in moderation. And this includes boasting or attracting attention through your behavior. Eating, sleeping, working, learning and so on.

7. Know what helps you and what hurts you. Learn from your experiences and be open to new ones, remembering to live each day in itself, not worrying about tomorrow or living in the past but retaining the knowledge learned. Listen to advice and guidance offered by elders and friends. Listen with your heart and then follow up through prayer to the Creator for His guidance.

8. Always ask permission before doing anything that involves someone else, including all living things. Always give something back in return for things received, including a simple "thank you." Remember that a smile can be shared.

9. Beware of what is inside you and outside of you.

10. Always, always, always show respect. From the youngest to the oldest, from the rocks to the trees, from all animals to all peoples.

11. Never stare at someone and drop your eyes in respect to an elder or teacher.

12. Always give a sign of greeting, even to strangers.

13. Never talk about someone in a harmful or critical way. Remember that what you say it will always come back to you one way or the other.

14. Never touch anything that is not yours without permission from the owner.

15. Respect the privacy of everyone. Never enter into their place or space without permission. Do not disturb anyone's quiet time or prayer time.

16. Never offer advice or ask questions of another without their permission.

17. Never interrupt.

18. When you are in someone's home, follow their customs out of respect.

19. Always treat other things held sacred by someone with respect even though you may not understand why.

20. Treat Mother Earth with respect. Protect Earth as well as all of Creation on her in all ways.

As I read these natural laws of the Cherokee, I was struck with the realization that much of it is exactly what my maternal grandmother, who was Cherokee, taught me. And, of course, my mother, who was taught by her mother. I can just hear them now--"If you can't say something good about someone, don't say anything at all." "It is bad manners to stare." "Always say 'thank you.' " "Always knock first, and never enter anyone's house unless they ask you to come in." And they always taught me to respect others, and their property, and to be thankful for what I have, and to share with others.

They taught me so much, and so much of it was by example.

They are both gone now, but I thank you, Mama and Big Mama, for teaching me important lessons which have helped me throughout my life. You would be happy to know that I, too, have passed them on to my children.


Dazd said...

Definitely rules to live by. And being of Cherokee decent myself, these ring true.

The Frank Family said...

There is so much wisdom in these words. If only I could master all these laws and teach them to my family.

rockync said...

A few simple rules and if everyone followed them, what a wonderful world this would be. (sigh)

Yehudi01 said...

That's a great list, Jan! I agree with those who've already commented...the world would be a much better place if everyone lived by these! Nice job, Jan! :)

Jan said...

dazd..yes, you probably heard them, in one way or another, while you were growing up, too! :)

Jan said...

Frank Family..they are pretty much about respect and giving place to God in your life, so I'm sure that you are doing a great job..teaching by example! :)

Jan said...

rockync..wouldn't it, though?

Btw..I'm glad to hear from you! I was wondering if you had recuperated from the holidays, yet! :)

Jan said...

Yehudi..thank you!

You're right, it would be a much better world, all around, if we showed more respect for one another! :)

rockync said...

What, is the holiday over already?!? LOL
Actually, I've had my sister over for a couple of days and we've been to see our Dad. I did survive my grandchildren's visit and my shift at the jail and an early morning trip to the airport to get my son off to Hawaii (poor college student...)

Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble leaving a comment tonight. Don't know what happened but if they somehow double post , just delete this one. What I said when I tried before was that these are good rules, very difficult to follow, but good goals to strive towards.

Jan said...

rockync..looks like you're making it okay, then! :)

Jan said...

Hermit..yes, very good rules, and goals, and very worthy ones.

Some are easier to follow than others, that's for sure! :)

The Frank Family said...

Your post inspired me to share about one of my heroes over at our blog. Come check it out.

Jan said...

frank family..actually, I was the second one to comment last night, but for some reason it didn't post.

I thought it was a great post, and what this distinquished man had to say was quite touching. I hope others will follow the link to your blog to read it. :)