Great people nourish their culture, tribunal heritage, religion even ethnicity by following their ancestors’ words of wisdom. These words depict the differences that exist among people.
They are regarded as a code of living that shapes people’s character thus making each culture extraordinary, unique and unrepeatable. It is believed that one of the most spiritually developed and character forming codes is The Native American Code of Ethics.
This code was first published in October 1994 in the Inter-Tribal Times. The Code of Ethics is a fascinating tool that conveys knowledge and teaches everyone regardless of nation or religious belonging how to live the best life. The teachings presented in this Code can also be traced in other beliefs and faith.
The Native American Code of Ethics
1. Pray with the rise of sun. Pray often and alone. If you speak, the Great Spirit will hear.
2. Do not judge those who have lost their path. A lost soul is a soul of ignorance, anger, greed, conceit and jealousy. Pray for them to find the light which will be their guidance.
3. Search and be yourself. You make the path you walk on. Do not let other people do that for you. It is no one else’s road but yours. They can walk with you but they will never walk for you.
4. Give your guests the best welcome when at your home. Show respect and honor towards your guests. Give them the best treatment ever, the best food and best bed.
5. Take nothing yours whether given by person, community, wilderness or culture. If you have not earned it or you were not given then it is not yours.
6. Respect all things on Earth – people and plants.
7. Consider and honor other people’s wishes, words and thoughts. Always be polite. Do not interrupt, mock or be rude to other people. Every person has the right to express themselves personally.
8. Never speak bad things about others. The radiation of negative energy is like boomerang. What you give you will receive. The negative energy which you spread the universe will multiply and return it to you.
9. Forgive people’s mistakes since all persons make mistakes.
10. Be positive. Practise thoughts of optimism because bad thoughts lead to illnesses of the body, mind and spirit.
11. Be part of nature. Nature does not function for us. Animals, plants and all living creatures are your family in this world and you are theirs.
12. Children are the creators of our future. Nourish them with love, wisdom and life lessons. Let them grow by giving the space they need to flourish and spread the love in their hearts.
13. Do not cause pain in the hearts of others. Do not sow the seeds of pain because the poison of this pain will return to you.
14. Always be honest. Being truthful and choosing honesty as your guidance is a test of your will in this universe.
15. Be balanced. Strength, purity and health should be the main components of your mental-spiritual-emotional-physical self. Do exercise and thus strengthen your mind. Grow spiritually wealthy and thus heal all emotional troubles.
16. Make conscious decisions regarding your being and actions. You are responsible for your actions.
17. Show respect towards other people’s privacy and personal space. It is forbidden to have contact with the personal belongings of other people – in particular religious and sacred objects.
18. Be true to yourself. Care and encourage yourself first then do the same for others.
19. Never disrespect other people’s religious beliefs. Do not impose your religious belief on others.
20. Give a portion of your good fortune to others. Take part in charities.
We may differ in many ways – in culture, religion and faith. However, we all live together on this piece of land, in this universe. We do not own the Earth nor are we its conquerors or destroyers. We are merely its protectors.