Seeking the Things That Unite Us:
An Ecological Necessity
by Christine Maccabee
Lately, I have been pondering a lot about the necessity of thinking and living ecologically, that is, with awareness or consciousness of the intricate web of life within which we all live. Certainly, everyone knows how the balance of nature becomes disturbed when one essential part is destroyed or disrupted. One example might be the use of toxic herbicides to control plant growth along streams, roadsides, and elsewhere.
Of course, for every problem there is a solution; thus, the planting of trees and wild plants along stream banks, creating what is called a riparian buffer. Small native trees and shrubs check the erosion and keep the water cooler so small fish can thrive. The same goes for ponds, which should always have wild plants around them as shade for reptiles and fish.
To remain rigid and unyielding in our beliefs and actions usually results in prejudice, judgment, and sometimes harm done. This is something all humanity must be aware of and we must all work to correct. For instance, if I had maintained my vegetarian stance, I very well might have fallen into judgment of people who hunt the beautiful deer for meat. As it is, I love venison now and acknowledge hunting as a way to keep the deer population down. However, I do not have tolerance for the terrible waste of trophy hunting, especially of endangered species.
These days, the necessity to find the things that unite us, be it ecological or political, is greater than ever. Throughout human history, crises have occurred over and over again, shattering the human web of brotherhood, as well as the natural ecology through warfare and exploitation of the land and its people—case in point, the Native Americans tribes.
These days, due to the global health crisis related to COVID-19, it is even more imperative for us to put aside our judgments and work together as a whole. In my opinion, this present effort to avoid contagion and preserve human health is just the beginning of an even greater imperative to work together to save the health of our precious planet, Earth. Everything is indeed connected, and always lessons to be learned.
Deep understanding of such connections and the necessity of reverence for all lifeforms is exemplified in the words of Chief Luther Standing Bear, lecturer and writer in the late 1800s, who said:
“The Lakota was a true lover of nature. Kinship with all the creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principal. The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart apart from nature becomes hard. He knew that lack of respect for growing things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.”
May we be so wise…