The Native Americans Principles for Life were designed to ensure the well-being of the next seven generations. They are therefore not only intended for each individual present: they also project themselves into the future.
The predominant note in these principles for life is respect and valuation of people and the environment. There is also an exaltation of the values associated with honesty and generosity.
Native Americans, like other native communities, placed great importance on collective life. This is why they considered essential the standards of conduct which guaranteed a harmonious cohabitation. We can learn a lot from them. Here are the principles for life that they established.
1. Treat the land with respect
Treating the earth with respect basically means not polluting or damaging it. It is about finding all possible means to preserve its integrity.
This simply means paying attention to the waste we emit, whether solid, liquid or gaseous. The earth is our home and if it gets sick, so will we.
2. Thank the Great Spirit for each new day.
The Great Spirit can have a different meaning for each person. For some, it will be a determined god and, for others, nature or the concept of life, in a universal sense.
Native Americans here invite us to be grateful for life, every day. It is not just one more action, but a starting point for cultivating a healthy general attitude.
3. The Principles for Life According to Native Americans: Keep Your Word
One of the most important principles of life for Native Americans is respect for the word. This concept has considerably lost value in today’s world.
It is important to be aware of one thing: acts of communication are precisely acts. They amount to facts and therefore we cannot lose sight of their consequences.
4. Working in a group, one of the principles for life
Human beings are gregarious by nature. Somehow we need each other and we get stronger when we learn to work in groups.
Good teamwork is much more satisfying, strengthens bonds and leads to better results. Learning to cooperate is a laudable and necessary goal.
5. Take only what you need
This applies to a wide variety of situations. It is a call for moderation and balance. We have physical and psychological needs and we can satisfy them without having to go beyond them.
Excess, sooner or later, leads to suffering, illness or unbearable indigestion. Native Americans consider this to be one of the principles for life that guarantees physical and emotional health.
6. Principles for life according to Native Americans: all life is sacred
We shouldn’t just see life as a biological fact. We physically wait against the life of another, but we can also attack against his psychological life.
The other is sacred and it is therefore fundamental to perform actions to preserve its integrity and existence. Moreover, this principle extends to all forms of life.
7. Take care of the well-being of body and mind
Self-care is an act of self-love and is one of the principles for life on which well-being depends. Good health is a fundamental condition for enjoying everything else to the full.
Looking after one’s well-being means avoiding habits or actions that can harm us or, in some way, put us in danger. We must also do whatever is necessary to regain our health once we have lost it.
8. Do what you need to do for the good of everyone
The collective good is a goal we should all share. By doing good to others, we also do good to ourselves.
It is impossible to build individual well-being if, at the same time, we do not build collective well-being. The problems and sufferings of others, in one way or another, also end up affecting us.
9. The Principles for Life According to Native Americans: Follow the Rhythms of Nature
It is one of the tenets of life that many times we do not understand enough. It is linked to the synchrony that we must establish with our natural environment and with our biological condition.
This implies adapting to different ages, to the cycles of day and night, to the conditions of the context in which we live, etc. The key word is adaptation, in addition to a flexible attitude.
10. Enjoy the journey of life but leave no traces
Native Americans think it’s good to move forward lightly in life. Just as you have to know how to be present, you also have to learn to dilute yourself. Leaving no traces, for them, means not making the ego more important than the actions themselves. Taking the “me” too seriously only limits the pleasure of existence.
All of these principles for life are a guide that can be applied perfectly to anyone. They sum up the philosophy of Native Americans, which is oriented towards the exaltation of community life, honesty and common sense. These principles represent a catalog that is always good to consult if we feel that we have lost the course.