Respect is the Key to Life

by Dave Chief, Grandson of Red Dog
Crazy Horse's Band

Respect means no interruption.
Respect means no confrontation.
Respect means no accusation.
Respect means no "mocking,"
Especially, no mocking of elders.

Respect means no lies between us.
Respect means no betrayal of confidence.
Respect means no "ripping off."
Respect means no hording.

Respect means no "Lording it over" someone.
Respect means no ordering around.
Respect means no yelling in anger.

Respect means no bad language.
Respect means no name calling.
Respect means controlling yourself.

Respect is not a commodity.
Respect is a way of being.

Respect is in our chest not in our hand.
Respect is for all of life.
Respect is for every species in
the world, including all four races.
Respect is for all our relations.

Respect is focusing on and dealing in
"issues" and not "personalisms."
Respect is focusing on "what" is right
rather than "who" is right.

Respect means owning our own negativity
and not being a "Blame Shifter."
A "Blame Shifter" is one who projects or shifts
his own negativity onto someone else.
This is the process of bigotry, war, and genocide.

Respect is keeping the lines of communication open
with those who have a different opinion, and making a sincere
attempt to let them be heard and understood.

Respect means listening until everyone has been heard
and understood, only then is there a possibility for

"Balance and Harmony,"

the goal of Indian spirituality.

The Indian prayer

"All My Relations"

is a prayer of Respect for the Hoop of Life.

Almost everyone believes Respect is a good thing
but few people have a clear idea of what Respect means or
what Respect looks like.

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

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