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I think it was a year ago when I stumbled onto these words.

They were written by the late Native American Indian leader Tecumseh before his death in 1813. Also known as Crouching Tiger, Tecumseh was a folk hero of sorts. He led the Shawnee Indians and fought the United States in what would become known as the Tecumseh Rebellion, and again later on the side of the British during the War of 1812.

These words are commonly called “Live Your Life.” I found them so inspiration I wrote them down on a piece of paper and and then tucked them in my wallet. I take them out from time-to-time and read them again as a personal reminder to myself. A guide, if you will, for how I would like to live my life. I stumbled onto them again this week when my old wallet finally gave out and I had to move everything into a new wallet. I removed about 80% of the riff raff from my old wallet, but the note with Tecumseh’s words made the cut and are now in my new wallet.

Here are Tecumseh’s thoughts on how we should all live our lives. Maybe you will find them equally inspirational. Here are those words:


Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about his 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 a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend−even a stranger−when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

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.


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