Ethics on the Red Road
#1: Honor the Great Spirit
Every element of creation expresses the Creator. Within each mountain, each stone, and each heart lies the Great Spirit. All are of the Creator, and each particle of the universe is equally deserving of respect and admiration. When looking upon a sunset, the trees, or even your worst enemy, you are looking at the Creator. Know this and give praise and prayer.
#2: Honor Mother Nature
Mother Nature is not for us . . . she is part of us and we, like everything else that lives and breathes upon her, are her children. Your own direct connection with Mother Earth is to be encouraged daily. Paint her portraits, swim in her waters, tend to her flowers, stroll through her glorious forests, and care for her many children: all plants, people, and animals. We must live according to her principles and choose not to pollute her body. The alternative is death to our mother— and death to her children.
#3: Search for Yourself, by Yourself
Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Accept yourself and your actions. Own your thoughts. Speak up when wrong, and apologize. Know your path at all times. To do this you must know yourself inside and out, accept your gifts as well as your shortcomings, and grow each day with honesty, integrity, compassion, faith, and brotherhood.
#4: Community Code of Conduct
Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed, and treat them with respect. Honor the thoughts, wishes, and words of others. Never interrupt another or mock or mimic them. Allow each person the right to freedom of opinion. Respect that opinion. Never speak ill of others. As you travel along life’s road never harm anyone, nor cause anyone to feel sad. On the contrary, if at any time you can make a person happy, do so.
#5: Banish fear from your Life
Fear stunts your soul and limits the amount of road needed to travel to reach the Tree of Life, and to know the Great Spirit. Fear is non-beneficial and leads to an unbalanced mind, body, and spirit. To banish fear you must know your path and trust yourself— and the world around you. With trust comes confidence. Self-confidence banishes fear.
Respect is to be given for all beings placed upon this earth by the Creator. Respect is to be given to elders, who are rich with wisdom. Respect one’s privacy, thoughts, and wishes. Respect human siblings by only speaking of their good qualities. Respect one’s personal space and belongings. Respect another’s spiritual path and do not judge their choices.
#7: Speak the Truth
Speak only the truth and do right always. You are what you say . . . and what you say needs to be honest, forthright, and of your own personal belief. Without truth you cannot achieve inner balance— balance within yourself, with other beings, with Mother Earth, and with the Creator.
#8: Reject Materialism
When one is materialistic, one is not right with the Red Road. To value and appreciate what you have and to know that you are loved and safe under the limbs of the Tree of Life is to reject materialism and to live a life of virtue and appreciation. Materialism only fills your heart with envy and greed, while appreciation breeds contentment, balance, and true happiness.
#9: Seek Wisdom
Those who are wise have lived a lifetime with ears open and a willingness to not only experience truth, but to pursue it as well. Wisdom is gained by: Listening to your elders. They have walked a longer path than you. Seeking all that is true. Wisdom lies within honesty, not deception. Realizing that education is never-ending. Even death is a final lesson. Learning from Mother Nature. Her wisdom is infinite.
#10: Practice Forgiveness
Your journey upon the Red Road will be filled with acts requiring forgiveness— forgiveness of others and forgiveness of yourself. Mindfully practice this incredible act of humanity and the Red Road will be an easy path to follow. Also, absolution breeds the same in others. Be quick to forgive and others will grant you the same kindness.
#11: Practice Optimism
It is easy to live within the shadow of fear, procrastination, and pessimism. But these are bad habits and stumbling blocks that keep you from experiencing life, the Red Road, and the Great Spirit. It is well known to the Native people that optimism is the key to good health. Worry makes you sick— as do bad thoughts. Replace them with happiness and optimism and you shall live a long, healthy life.
#12: Take what you need Leave the Rest Be
There is nothing placed upon this Earth that deserves to be destroyed or wasted for the purpose of human convenience. To destroy trees and leave them unused simply because they blocked the view of the garden, or to kill animals only for their fur, is not a rightful way to share the world with another. To waste and discard something due to your own selfishness is an act that goes against the Creator, and strays you from the Red Road.