Published on July 8, 2013 by Casey
Hold on to what is good,
Even if it’s a handful of earth.
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Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it’s easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.
The life of an Indian is like the wings of the air.
That is why you notice the hawk knows how to get his prey. The Indian is like that.
The hawk swoops down on its prey, so does the Indian.
In his lament he is like an animal. For instance, the coyote is sly, so is the Indian.
The eagle is the same.
That is why the Indian is always feathered up, he is a relative to the wings of the air.
- Black Elk, Oglala Lakota Sioux (1863-1950)
In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
- Iroquois Maxim (circa 1700-1800)
Children learn from what they see. We need to set an example of truth and action.
- Howard Rainer, Taos Pueblo-Creek (2012)
When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
Upon suffering beyond suffering:
The Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world; a world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations; a world longing for light again.
I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again.
In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom.
I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be one.
- Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota Sioux (circa 1840-1877)
You have to look deeper, way below the anger, the hurt, the hate, the jealousy, the self-pity, way down deeper where the dreams lie, son. Find your dream. It’s the pursuit of the dream that heals you.
- Billy Mills (father), Oglala Lakota (1938-)
In my youth I respected the world and life, I needed not anything but peace of heart;
And yet I changed despite myself and believed in Iktumi’s lies.
He seemed to know all the truth, he promised to make me happy.
He made me ask Wakantanka for wealth, that I might have power;
I was given poverty, that I might find my inner strength.
I asked for fame, so others would know me;
I was given obscurity, that I might know myself.
I asked for a person to love that I might never be alone;
I was given a life of a hermit, that I might learn to accept myself.
I asked for power, that I might achieve;
I was given weakness, that I might learn to obey.
I asked for health, that I might lead a long life;
I was given infirmity, that I might appreciate each minute.
I asked Mother Earth for strength, that I might have my way;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for Her.
I asked to live happily, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might live happily.
I received nothing I asked for, yet all my wishes came true.
Despite myself and Iktumi, my dreams were fulfilled,
I am richly blessed more than I ever hoped,
I thank you, Wakantanka, for what you’ve given me.
“Wokini: Your Personal Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding”
Author: Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota (1938-)
Publisher: Feather Publishing, 1990
When you know who you are; when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will; no cold can touch your heart; no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive.
- Chief Seattle, Duwamish (1780-1866)
We live, we die, and like the grass and trees, renew ourselves from the soft earth of the grave. Stones crumble and decay, faiths grow old and they are forgotten, but new beliefs are born. The faith of the villages is dust now… but it will grow again… like the trees.
- Chief Joseph, Nez Perce (1840-1904)