Native American Virtues Respect

By Kat Glasgow Shiver

To honor all of the creation is to have RESPECT.

Job 12: 7-9 7 “But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. 8 “Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you. 9 “Who among all these does not know, that the hand of the LORD has done this.”

No matter where we go, there is no denying that nature speaks of and for our Creator. When was the last time you took a moment to sit and quietly observe? Does not every creature have a purpose? All working in harmony to maintain balance. Sustaining life. Every creature is provided for, knowing that our maker will take care of them. Respect is not only shared between people. It is to be shown to all of creation, living things and non-living.

On July 14, 2016, a dear friend and I made the journey to Washington D.C., to be a part of something so much greater than either of us. We were there for the AIM Longest Walk 5: War on Drugs & Domestic Violence rally. Neither of us has ever been to D.C., and trying to navigate the Lincoln Memorial circle was a nightmare! The GPS had taken us in circles for over an hour, and we were just about ready to give up and go back to our hotel room when we saw a doe standing in the grass, in the middle of all the commotion, with thousands of cars and people coming from every direction, eating. She was just there, without a care in the world, eating the luscious green grass that her Creator had provided. She reminded me to stop fretting, because our Creator is always with us, to take care of us. I pointed her out to my friend, who was driving, and told her that this little doe was a sign. We both took a deep breath, drove for a minute, and I don’t know how – but we found our way back to the Lincoln Memorial, and found our group.

While we had found the group, we were still unable to find the parking area. We pulled in behind some parked buses and called Ray, who had been trying to help us navigate this maze via telephone. Ray was a coordinator of the rally, and the walk across the country. He was very busy, but he took the time out of his busy schedule to come to us. He brought his family to help carry water and other supplies from another vehicle, yet when they came to help us, he would not allow me or my friend to carry large bags or other items. He took them and gave them to his teenage sons to carry for us, and they did this without hesitation, without complaining, and without question. They were happy to do this for us, and I was able to help my friend move along the sidewalk with her walker, and down the steps to a canopy where she could sit in the shade. Ray took the car and drove it to the parking lot, which was a little more than a mile away, then he walked back to the rally.

I cannot thank Ray and his family enough for taking the time to help us, when they could have very easily told us that they were too busy and wished us luck. I can only hope to pay this kindness forward in a fashion that would please Ray, and please our Creator.

The bsheke [bison] bsheke, bison, buffalorepresents respect, not because it is beneath us, but because it gives every part of its self out of respect for the balance and needs of others.

Showing respect is showing honor for the value of people or things by polite regard, consideration, and appreciation. Honor the teachings. If you do not know the teachings, learn them. Seek them out, as you have done by reading these words today. Honor our families, others, and ourselves. Do not cause harm to anyone on the outside or the inside. Respect should not be demanded. People will not respect those who demand it. They only fear those people. Fear is not respect. You must give respect from the goodness of your heart if you wish for others to respect you.

“Grandfather says…you must not hurt anybody or do harm to anyone. You must not fight. Do right always. It will give you satisfaction in life.” — Wovoka, PAIUTE

Ahaw Mamogosnan.

Migwetch jak she gego ga gishtoyen. Today let me appreciate all that you have created, and the role that you have given me. Let my heart be open so I can hear your voice. Keep my mind clean, so I can do the things you would have me do, respecting your plan, your will and your judgment. Teach me all I need to know about respect. May this include listening, allowing others to share their opinions. Let my respect towards others truly reflect your love towards all. Kowabmeshnak ndenwenmagnek.

Igwien Iw