A Declaration of Interconnection and Interdependence
4th of July, 2020
True "independence" is a misperception. The great exchange of breath and substance between plants, animals and all kingdoms of life reveals our deep interconnected relationship with all of the natural world. The challenge of our times is to adapt our habits and to protect this delicate balance.
Robin Wall Kimmerer beautifully articulates the heart of a Declaration of Interdependence in her book Braiding Sweetgrass:
"As I grew to understand the gifts of the earth, I couldn't understand how 'love of country' could omit recognition of the actual country itself. The only promise it requires is to a flag. What of the promises to each other and to the land?
What would it be like to be raised on gratitude, to speak to the natural world as a member of the democracy of the species, to raise a pledge of interdependence? No declarations of political loyalty are required, just a response to a repeated question:
'Can we agree to be grateful for all that is given?' "
– Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
Recognizing that all life plays a critical role in sustaining the web of existence leads to respect and gratitude. That in turn leads to actions and decisions based on honoring and sustaining life.
On this Independence Day weekend, let's acknowledge the distance between where we are and where we need to be to achieve true equality for all, including rights for non-human Nature, and let's consider the great responsibility that's inherent to the idea of freedom.
Today and every day, let's celebrate our interconnection and interdependence with one another and the Earth. What can you do today to cultivate gratitude and a deeper connection with nature and community, and to give back to this planet that sustains our every breath and step? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
Some resources for cultivating a deeper relationship with the rest of Nature and your own life path:
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Future Primitives Podcast: "intimate conversations that bring to light the shift that is occurring during this time in the way that we relate to our planet and each other."
Speaking with Nature: Awakening to the Deep Wisdom of the Earth, by Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts