A good movie can be a great way to spend an evening. But rarely, if ever, do we watch a film or a scene that hits us so hard that we remember it for a long time to come.
One such scene hit me some time ago when I watched the movie Act of Valor. It was the scene toward the end where Lt. Rorke leaves a poem by Tecumseh for his son.
For the uninitiated, Act Of Valor is an American war movie from 2012 about Navy SEALS.
The poem in question here is called “Live your Life.” The movie only mentions an excerpt from the poem, but this article will provide you with both the excerpt and the full poem.
I will also be trying to interpret the meaning of the poem. If you’re interested in that, please read till the end!
The poem in Act of Valor
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, 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 its purpose in the service of your people.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the 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. “Tecumseh
Full Poem, “Live Your Life” by Tecumseh
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, 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 its purpose in the service of 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 arise 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 it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the 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. “Tecumseh
About the Author: Tecumseh
Born in Ohio during a time of turmoil for the Shawnee tribe, Tecumseh lost his father to the American colonizers at a young age. But he didn’t let that stop him from becoming one of the greatest Native American leaders of all time.
He was mentored by his older brother Cheeseekau, a war chief, who taught him the ways of the warrior. Tecumseh was a natural-born leader, and his speeches and charismatic personality inspired many to join his cause.
Tecumseh teamed up with his brother Tenskwatawa, aka the Shawnee Prophet, and together they formed Prophetstown, a multi-tribal community that rejected European influences and embraced a more traditional lifestyle.
Tecumseh traveled far and wide, spreading the message of unity and resistance against the expanding American colonies.
His efforts caught the attention of American leaders, who saw him as a threat, and they eventually defeated his brother and destroyed Prophetstown.
Undeterred, Tecumseh joined forces with the British in the War of 1812 and helped capture Detroit. He continued to fight against the Americans, but when U.S. naval forces took control of Lake Erie, he was forced to retreat with the British into Canada. Despite his efforts, Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames.
Tecumseh’s death marked the end of his confederacy, but his legacy as a fearless warrior and charismatic leader lived on. Today, he is remembered as one of the most celebrated Native Americans in history, and his message of unity and resistance still resonates with people around the world.
Meaning of the Poem
“Live Your Life” is a poem that encourages people to live life to the fullest and embrace every moment with gratitude and purpose. The poem highlights the importance of respecting others and their beliefs and also respecting oneself. It emphasizes the need to make the most of every day, to seek happiness, and to live life with a sense of purpose and meaning.
The poem suggests that the fear of death should not rule one’s life and that one should be prepared to face death with bravery and grace. It encourages the reader to embrace their spiritual beliefs and seek peace and happiness in life.
The poem also stresses the importance of giving thanks for what we have and avoiding negative thoughts and actions that prevent us from appreciating life.
Tecumseh’s poem reminds us to live life to the fullest, to find purpose, and to seek happiness in every moment. It encourages us to show respect and kindness to all, to live life with gratitude, and to be prepared for the inevitable end with courage and strength.