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April 20 – Walt Whitman: “Love the earth and sun and animals”

Desert“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

 

Walter “Walt” Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.

 

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The Earth Does Not Belong To Man, Man Belongs to the Earth.

Despite the fact that historians have been conflicted with whether Chief Seattle said these exact words, or whether they were improved by others along the way during the ’70′s environmental movement, this profound speech perfectly captures the Native American spiritual connection to Mother Earth that lies completely dormant in most of modern society.

As a young warrior, Chief Seattle was known for his courage, daring and leadership. He gained control of six of the local tribes and continued the friendly relations with the local whites that had been established by his father. His now famous speech was believed to have been given in December 1854. There are several versions of his letter; the following was provided by Barefoot Bob.

Chief Seattle’s Letter

“The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

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 in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.

One thing we know – there is only one God. No man, be he Red man or White man, can be apart. We ARE all brothers after all.”

Check out two great book recommendations on Native American spiritual practices:  Brother Eagle, Sister Sky & “The Soul of the Indian” at our Amazon Store

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I Didn’t F it Up

I didn't fuck it up

Earth Day is Monday April 22 and we’ve done our best to pull together some of the best inspirational and informational content on the web, and just couldn’t leave out this video from the beautiful Katie Goodman of Broad Comedy.

Yes, the seriousness of our global predicament can get us down, so here’s a little humor (note: language might not be appropriate for some offices).

This might just be the theme song for all the younger generations.  Enjoy, and happy Earth Day!

Will you help un-F it up? 

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She’s Alive. She Breathes. She Feels. She’s Worth Dying for.

Earth Day is Monday, April 22, and this video just might be the most emotionally connective works of art we’ve come across in our search for the best content to celebrate this awesome planet we inhabit.

This piece manages to capture the infinite beauty and strength of Mother Earth while presenting us with the powerful reminder of just how sensitive and delicate she is.

It also celebrates some of the heroes who have given their own lives to protect her.   And we also are celebrating those people on Earth Day – If you know an eco-warrior, an activist or volunteer who dedicates their time to solving our Earth’s crisis, send them a love bomb. It just might be the toughest job in the world!

She is not yet gone – she is still alive.  Enjoy:

Do you know an activist, volunteer or eco-warrior that you want to thank?  Let’s set up a circle of gratitude for them here!

If you liked this article, you will enjoy: Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot.  And “The Profound Interconnection of Life – An Astronaut’s Perspective.” 

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