February 29th, 2012

Wisdom of Tecumseh?

"Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die,
be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time
to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home."

Tecumseh Quote/Quotation

Again i am grateful to bardcat for turning me on to this quote.

Tecumseh lived during a time when Europeans (known as Americans) were overrunning his home.  He expressed his anger toward Europeans in many ways, by speeches, by being a leader of the resistance against their intrusion, and (allegedly) by cursing the U.S. president who is elected in every twentieth year ( Harrison, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan -- George W. Bush's curse, i guess, is just being George W, Bush.  Obama's is not yet clear but it might turn out that his curse - and ours _might be the Tea Party.).

Which Tecumseh was the real Tecumseh?  I like to think it was the poet and mystic.

But when preliterate peoples defend their nations we accuse them of tribalism and consider them our cultural and spiritual inferiors.  When we do the same (or worse) we call ourselves patriots and hold patriotism to be a virtue.  But isn't my patriotism just tribalism, and somebody  else's tribalism really patriotism?