Friday, June 17, 2011

Grant Lawrence, “Tecumseh and Our Warrior Spirit”

  “Tecumseh and Our Warrior Spirit”
by Grant Lawrence

"I regard myself as a soldier, though a soldier of peace."
    - Mahatma Gandhi

"It is true I am a Shawnee. My forefathers were warriors. Their son is a warrior. From them I take only my existence; from my tribe I take nothing. I am the maker of my own fortune; and oh! that I could make that of my red people, and of my country, as great as the conceptions of my mind, when I think of the Spirit that rules the universe."
    - Tecumseh, the Great Shawnee Chief

“In the Native traditions of the Americas there is a strong respect for the warrior. A warrior sacrifices himself in order to protect his people. A warrior who thinks and acts in this way is indeed very noble and should be celebrated. Yet today our warriors are being used in ignoble ways. They are being sacrificed to take resources from others and to establish Empire throughout the Middle East and around the world. Tecumseh, the greatest of warriors, would have never allowed for his warriors to be used and abused in this way. We shouldn't allow our nobility to be stolen by those without any honor or character.

At present we all need the warrior spirit. But this spirit should be activated in its highest sense- to sacrifice ourselves to protect our people. But who are our people? Our people is our great mother earth and all of life that is born from her.

A clear understanding shows that we cannot protect those that we love and care about without having compassion and care for the rest of life that sustains us. It is time for us to awaken to the truth. We are not children to be manipulated, poisoned, and destroyed for the wealth and comfort of a very few. Rather we are warriors. That means we can look beyond our own selfishness and think in terms of serving and protecting others even with our own lives.

Tecumseh tried to unite his people because he knew that they would be destroyed unless they stood together. His vision stands today. We will be destroyed unless we are united. The best among us need not abandon the warrior spirit, but to embrace it. Tecumseh's vision stands for his people. Indeed we are all Indians now. We are all being cheated, exploited, poisoned, and abused- some of us are even being killed.

Tecumseh’s words have as much power today as they did when they were spoken 2 centuries ago:  "No tribe has the right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers... Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn't the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children? The way, the only way to stop this evil is for the red man to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was first, and should be now, for it was never divided. We gave them forest-clad mountains and valleys full of game, and in return what did they give our warriors and our women? Rum, trinkets, and a grave."

Indeed, Tecumseh's call to unite stands as the way to defeat the mindset of greed and ignorance that is choking the life of the planet. There is a great war being waged against our mother and the her children. It is time for peaceful warriors to unite, motivated by the warrior spirit to protect their people.”
Related: “Rediscovering Tecumseh’s Vision” by Village Life

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