He was a poet, world famous actor and movie star, musician, construction worker and logger.
Canadian Chief Dan George, who died in 1981 – believed in the day our troubled world would be peaceful and loving.
His advice, now long forgotten, is resurrected here – at a time in history when love seems so far away.
1. The heart never knows the color of the skin.
If you fell in love with someone’s voice or personality without ever seeing them, their physical appearance, including the color of their skin, would be meaningless. To bring nations and people together, the Chief always emphasized the heart. If we only come together physically, he said the walls will be as high as mountains. But if we can show compassion for one another and exchange ideas – we will be as one in heart and mind. It seems impossible in today’s world. But if each of us took the Chief’s advice today, then a new world order may one day be here – hopefully in time for our children and grandchildren.
2. Nothing belongs to you of what there is, so of what you take, you must share.
Do we really ever own anything? Or are we just borrowing? Even our home is a temporary residence, occupied by others when we are gone. The money in our bank account will one day be in the hands of someone else. All that we claim to own is not truly owned, but just used while we are here. Chief Dan George believed all things – including the earth itself, are of benefit to all people. This week, think “share” instead of “own.”
3. If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.
Today, I was shocked to see a strange looking bug in my kitchen. I was afraid of it because it moved in an odd way. I killed it. We do indeed want to destroy that which we fear. The wars that rage across our planet every day, and every human conflict, possess fear at the core. The solution to removing fear, preached Chief Dan George, is understanding. The people you fear, the circumstances you avoid – talk, learn and understand. The fear will dissipate. Then, we – and others – will be the better for it.
The Chief did not begin his acting career until his 60s.
Prior to that, he spent almost 30 years as a logger, until a large load of lumber fell on top of him. He thought acting would be less dangerous. In 1970, he starred in the movie “Little Big Man” with Dustin Hoffman.
He never pursued acting for the money. Instead, he wanted to share the values of Native Indian culture with the world – insisting that he always play a “good Indian.”
Even though he had become a star, Chief Dan George continued to live in the tiny house he built on his reserve.
The words of Chief Dan George give hope to us all that our beloved planet will one day be free of war and conflict.
The year was 1970 and Chief Dan George starred in “Little Big Man”. In this scene, the Chief lays down to die – but is unsuccessful.