Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Native Americans believe that every life
is a gift to be treated with gratitude
and respect. What has been referred to as
the Harmony Ethic guides much of Native
American living. For the Cherokee this
encompasses the conscious avoidance of
interpersonal conflict in an attempt
to maintain reciprocally harmonious
.relations with all members of the tribe

The Harmony Ethic is a system based upon
caring for fellow human beings through
the expression of deep respect. This is
.the way to achieve harmonious survival
It also involves the presence of individual
choice. To the Cherokee, a person has just
as much choice in creating harmony as
.in creating disharmony

Within Native American traditions, it is
widely believed that every person has a
.purpose to fulfill during his or her lifetime
Every person, like every animal, tree, plant
and mineral, possesses some unique quality
or talent to be discovered through a variety
of experiences in this world. Harmony is the key
to meaningful life experiences in which all
.learning contributes to overall life purpose
This purpose is manifested by a striving for
the wisdom and generosity exemplified by
the Native American elder who has accumulated
.a lifetime’s worth of experience in the world
Native American elders have learned the inner
secrets to a harmonious existence and are
.the keepers of this wisdom

Traditional wisdom tells us that it is our
purpose to face the world with courage in our
hearts. This courage signifies a deep respect
for the gift that we have been given through
the ability to live, as well as a respect for
all life. Courage transcends any circumstance
and ultimately comes from a harmony within
oneself and between oneself and one’s
universe--an inner strength derived from
.the unity of body, mind, nature, and spirit
There is an old saying: All that moves is
sacred--only by understanding this can you
realize the rhythm of Mother Earth, and
.thereby know how to place your feet

Adapted from The Cherokee Full Circle, by J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett _

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