Relativity Media recently released a movie entitled Act of Valor, a motion picture starring active duty Navy Seals. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie because it told succinct and impactful stories about the lives of America’s servicemen and women. I won’t go into details, but do encourage you to watch it.
A very defining moment for me was the reading of a quote, from Tecumseh, by one of the characters in the movie. For you non-history buffs, Tecumseh was the Native American leader of the Shawnee tribe in the early 1800s.
“So live your life so the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their views, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and of service to your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a stranger if in a lonely place. Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise ones turn to fools and robs them of their visions. When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.”
After hearing the quote, I couldn’t help but to think about my life and about the people I serve.
Do I fear death? Or, do I fear knowing that I didn’t live to my potential?
Do I truly understand and am I open minded about all of the world’s religions?
Do I respect others’ views, even if they are 180˚ different than mine?
Do I attempt to perfect different facets of my life?
Am I taking care of my health so that I can make my life long?
Are my actions in service to my community and my planet? Or, are they self-serving and shareholder focused?
Do I greet people warmly when passing by?
Am I truly thankful for all that I have been given?
I encourage you to read Tecumseh’s quote a few times and honestly assess yourself with the same or similar questions I asked myself. The answers derived aren’t necessarily the immediate concern, developing a plan to make a demonstrable, positive impact is your goal.
As I’ve said before, it is your job to plan the work, and work the plan. A synonym for the word valor is fearlessness. I hope your fear of mediocrity and fearing the status quo drives you to care for more than your net worth. Assess yourself on how well you are contributing to the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.
Greed is not good. Eudemonic wealth is.