Thanks -- and No Thanks
and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom."
-- from a prayer
(Read Entire Prayer)
"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children."
Unfortunately, the idyllic
tale that's was presented to me as a child just doesn't cut it. It doesn't portray the stark reality of the European colonization of the Americas.
If the truth be told, a holocaust occurred as "our forefathers" descended upon this continent. They brought with them white supremacy, a harshly judgmental Christianity, the European notion of private property, and an emergent
capitalism. (The pilgrims received a land patent from the London
Virginia Company and financing from Company of Adventurers. The investors who formed these corporations sought to profit by colonizing lands overseas. )
Although the set of democratic ideals set forth in the Preamble to the US Constitution reflect humanity's quest for a just society, the settler colonists also brought forth on this continent disease, death, domination, and the desecration of the indigenous Way of Life. Rather than embrace the wisdom of these cultures, with a spirituality that seemed to better understand and honor humanity's relationship to Mother Earth, to the Great Spirit, and to the Circle of All Life, the settler colonists that invaded Massachusetts branded them heathens, massacred countless human beings, assimilated a few, and drove the others from their homelands. It was a classic case of what Buddhism characterizes as the three poisons: Greed, Enmity, and Ignorance.
The worldview of the Indigenous People who had lived on this continent for upward of 10,000 years embraced Connection and Reverence. Our forefathers brought with them, instead, the Unbridled Greed buried in the belly of Capitalism, and a myopic form of doctrinal Christianity that produces a profound sense of separation from one another, from the natural world, and from a living, spiritual connection to all that is.
Through force of arms, including germ warfare and the power of "law," the bad guys won. Unfortunately for Mother Earth and her myriad beings, they still hold tremendous power today.
Propelled by powerful elites and a misshapen worldview, our species seems deadset on destroying the ecological fabric of life that we emerge from.
Yet, it doesn't have to be that way forever.
It is true that history shows us that those with more guns and less morals have often taken power. Yet, the opposite is also true.
In my own lifetime, Mahatma Gandhi,
armed with nothing but a spinning wheel, the force of Great Loving Soul,
and the Power of the People, sent the mighty British Empire packing. Martin
Luther King and legions of non-violent activists toppled the framework
of legal racial segregation that had existed here in the "land of the free."
Non-violent revolutions toppled the communist governments of eastern