Message from Chief Sneed re: Kituwah Society Guiding Principle (part two)

by Mar 7, 2022OPINIONS0 comments


Siyo Nigada,

This message is Part 2 of the message about the Kituwah Society Guiding Principle: Strengthen one another with encouraging words and all that you do. Today I wanted to talk about encouraging one another.

The root word of encourage, is courage. Courage- the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain etc. without fear; bravery. The prefix en, from the Latin in, means to put into, onto or to cause to be. So, to encourage means to put into or to cause there to be, courage, either in oneself or in another.  We have, as human beings, the amazing ability to cause to come into existence, courage, bravery, strength and perseverance within ourselves and others. How do we do this? It is by the power of our words.

With that in mind, it is imperative that we understand that our words are merely an expression of our inner thoughts, ideas, and attitudes. If I have learned anything meaningful in my time on this earth it’s this, we should think before we speak and we should be mindful of our daily attitude. Our attitude determines how we view the world around us, the people around us, and the circumstances that we find ourselves in. One of several mentors that I have had in my life was Mr. Ray Kinsland. He was a paragon of servant leadership. He always put other’s needs before his own and he always seemed to have the right attitude about any given situation, no matter how dire or uncertain things might be.  I remember a framed poster that he had on the wall of his office at one time that was entitled “Attitude.” The poster contained the following quote from Chuck Swindoll, a well-known pastor and teacher.  The quote was this:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so, it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes”

I firmly believe that as we focus on having a good attitude, the words that we speak will reflect the attitude of our heart and the thoughts of our mind. As a person thinks, so they are. The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius put it this way; “We become what we think about.” If we have a positive attitude, it is inevitable that we will speak words that are positive, encouraging, and strengthening. We will witness that our words have the power to bring life and strength to those around us. The ability, the power to bring courage and strength to life is within each one of us. The choice is ours, we choose our attitude, we choose our words, and we shape our daily reality, for ourselves and for everyone we come in to contact with.

Remember, it is imperative for all human beings to receive strength and encouragement as well as affirmation. However, for many this may seem foreign. It is unfortunate that much of our human experience has been one where discouragement, criticism and judgment are probably more familiar to us. It is a symptom of the world in which we live where negativity and personal attacks tend to be highlighted by the media and further perpetuated through many social media platforms. However, we must choose to live above our circumstances. We must choose to live in accordance with the values and guiding principles that define us as Cherokee people. Think, act, and speak as the people we were created to be.



Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed