A fundamental belief in Native culture is that we are deeply connected to the Earth. Papatūānuku, Gaia, Pachamama – the Earth Mother goes by many names. Some people reading this are immediately thinking, “Well ya, duh, of course!” We depend on her for food, it is becoming glaringly obvious we are susceptible to changes in her climate, etc.
But wait! There is a second and even more important principle that hooks into this belief. And that is, that by virtue of all the Earth provides for us, we owe her respect. We owe it to live in harmony with her. We owe her gratitude.
We are blowing it. When will we all really open our eyes to the fact that we each play a part in this? That is, the using up of our most important partner and asset, the Earth. It starts with our own attitudes, gratitude and respect.
Progress is not a given simply by a forward movement in linear time. It is not something that is fact because we have more technology. It is measured by the quality of life and harmony experienced by humanity. It is evident in the higher principles of life practiced in any society. And viewed in that way, currently humanity is in a state of devolution. It is up to us to decide our priorities, what is really important in life.
And we must all do it soon. The web of life is disintegrating before our very eyes.
“This we know: The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” ~ Chief Seattle, How can you buy or sell the sky?
“We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands, but also for our relationship to the world. We need to restore honor to the way we live, so that when we walk through the world we don’t have to avert our eyes with shame, so that we can hold our heads up high and receive the respectful acknowledgment of the rest of the earth’s beings.” ~ Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
“Every living thing has its own creation song, its own language, and its own story. In order to live harmoniously with the rest of creation, we must be willing to listen to and respect all of the harmonies that are moving around us.” ~ Sherri Mitchell, Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change
“A species and a culture that treat the natural world with respect and reciprocity will surely pass on genes to ensuing generations with a higher frequency than the people who destroy it. The stories we choose to shape our behaviors have adaptive consequences.” ~ Robin Wall
“To understand the Dreamtime, you must understand that we do not own the land. The land is our mother and she owns and nurtures us.” ~ Lance Morcan, White Spirit
Folly | Humanity’s fate © Susan L Hart