Tecumseh (the great chief of the American Indians) enforced 14 rules of right living, a kind of code of conduct, in which he summarized his life philosophy. In modern times, these rules seem just as fresh and authentic:
1. Live so that the fear of death never enters your heart.
2. Do not disturb anyone for his faith.
3. Respect others’ beliefs. Ask others to respect yours.
4. Love your life and perfect it. Beautify all things in your life.
5. Strive to live as long as possible and serve your people.
6. Prepare a posthumous song for the day of moving to another world.
7. Always greet a friend, even a stranger, if alone.
8. Express respect for all people, but don’t crawl in front of people.
9. When you wake up in the morning, give thanks in light for your life and strength.
10. Give thanks for the food and the joy of living.
11. If you see no reason to be grateful, it is your fault.
12. Do not touch the fiery water, for from it the sages become mad, and the spirit loses its vision.
13. When it is time for you to die, do not be like those whose heart is full of fear, crying and praying, so that they may live a little differently.
14. Sing your shitty song like a homecoming hero.
The great Indian chief Tecumseh was born in 1768. He is an example of a person who, by his thinking and acting, overcomes most of those we perceive as contemporary moral authorities.
Tecumseh means “panther crossing the sky.” It is named after a comet that appeared in the sky just before its birth. According to tradition, the appearance of comets heralds the arrival of great leaders, and from the very beginning, the tribe gave special importance to Tecumseh.
Tecumseh behaved extremely correctly in the wars. In an age when it was a normal thing to torture and kill prisoners, he strictly forbade it, and mercilessly punished all his warriors who would violate those provisions. His conversations with commanders of the US Army were noted, in which his intellectual and moral superiority came to the fore. To cite, for example, the section in which he criticizes the duplicity of whites: “The Indians were happy in the past. They are now humiliated by whites, who are never satisfied with what they have been given, but are looking for more. You want us to believe you. But how can we trust what you say? When Jesus Christ came to earth, you killed him, you killed the son of your God, nailed him to the cross! You thought he was dead, but you were fooled. And just after you thought you had killed him, then did you begin to respect him and kill those who did not share your respect. What kind of people are you? You still want us to trust you … ”
In his fight against the American settlers, Tecumseh succeeded in uniting most of the Native American tribes. He worked out the perfect warfare strategy. His brother unleashed the warriors on the attack without permission. Thus, he caused heavy losses in the battle of Tippecanoe. After the defeat, Tecumseh joined the British Army to fight the U.S. Army. Due to his successful warfare and exceptional knowledge of the strategy, he was soon declared Brigadier General. In October 1813, just before the battle near the town of Thames, Tecumseh said goodbye to his fellow soldiers and announced that he would die the next day. It happened. For who knows what time the great chief was right.
In these times of forgotten or inverted ethical values the memory of positive examples from the past seems to come from some other worlds. The tradition and wisdom of Native Americans testify to the possibility of a different approach, which, from this modern perspective, seems to make sense of all that is offered to us daily through various media. One of the biggest misconceptions is the belief in the continuous evolution of human consciousness.