Just like the buffalo, you know that to value respect, you must value everything. You understand that you and everyone else around you have a unique purpose -- even when it isn’t immediately evident or when you don’t feel like you have much purpose yourself. You know that all living things are connected and deserving of respect and you use that to guide your intentions and live honorably.
Respect is one of the 7 Grandfather Teachings. Respect means to honor all creations. It means being mindful of the balance between all living things. Respect teaches us not only to share what we have and give away what we don’t need, but to avoid wastefulness and treat others the way we want to be treated.
Respect is represented by the buffalo because he respects all living things; no being is of less value than any other. The buffalo respects the balance and the needs of others and even gives all parts of himself to sustain others. Traditionally, buffalo has been used to sustain all parts of human life -- from food to shelter to clothing and art. In the same way the buffalo represents respect, Indigenous people have always respected the buffalo for the gifts he offers.
The Buffalo reminds us what it means to respect ourselves and each other. If you live your life like the buffalo, you will give respect and get respect in return!