Happiness is about how we relate with people (including us), beings and environment. The Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers is a set of teachings on human conduct towards others, part of the Anishinaabe people’s wisdom. According to their tradition, such teachings were given to the Anishinaabe First Nations early in their history: Seven Grandfathers sent their messenger to survey the human condition. The messenger communicated, among others, with a child, and decided (after receiving approval from the Seven Grandfathers) to tutor him in the “Good way of Life”, each Grandfather providing one principle. The principles are:
– Nibwaakaawin—Wisdom, prudence, intelligence: To cherish knowledge is to know Wisdom;
– Zaagi’idiwin—Love: To know Love is to know peace. Love is unconditional;
– Minaadendamowin—Respect: To honour all creation is to have Respect. We must give respect if we wish to be respected;
– Aakode’ewin—Bravery, fearless heart: Bravery is to live with integrity, in every situation, to do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant in the short-term;
– Gwayakwaadiziwin—Honesty, righteousness: it is about being honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others;
– Dabaadendiziwin—Humility, compassion: knowing ourselves as a part of the whole; we can have differences, that does not make better or worse than others.
– Debwewin—Truth: truth is to know all of these things. Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.
This is an excerpt from our book: A course in happiness and well-being