Sometimes, I read a book that demands that its words be read slowly – and be shared.
This is one such book. ‘Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World’ by Paul Hawken. (check out the website, and check out the video: http://blessedunrest.com)
From ‘Blessed Unrest’
‘…. Slaves, serfs, and the poor are the forests, soils, and oceans of society; each constitutes surplus value that has been exploited repeatedly by those in power, whether governments or multinational corporations.
“Our fate will depend on how we understand and treat what is left of the planet’s surpluses — its lands, oceans, species diversity, and people. The quiet hub of the new movement — its heart and soul — is the indigenous culture. … Indigenous people have a different sense of time because they remember a different history, and that memory brings an uncommon appreciation of their place in time. Simply stated, they possess patience. Things come and go; conquests, ideas, and leaders arise and fall away. For indigenous people, in the time that defines one’s life, the relationship one has to the earth is the constant and true gauge that determines the integrity of one’s culture, the meaning of one’s existence, and the peacefulness of one’s heart. In most indigenous cultures there are no separate social and environmental movements because the two were never disaggregated. Every single particle, thought, and being, even our dreaming, is the environment, and what we do to one another is reflected on earth just as surely as what we do to the earth is reflected in our diseases and discontents.” [pages 22-23]
And we find those stories in so many places. In the Bedouins that live amongst here – and who have been (perhaps the first) victims of the creation of the nation-state. In the Mongolians in Inner Mongolia spoken about in Wolf Totem
(I think I’ll start my ecology class this semester with that quote… and with the discussions that (hopefully) will follow)