"Ask an impertinent question, and you're on your way to a pertinent answer." —Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man
As of October 2015, my goal for this blog is to ask 101 impertinent questions.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

5—Whoever decided that nations or people could own a piece of the Earth that they didn't create and therefore have no right to except through domination by force and the illusion of law?

Check out the website True Activist for a variety of constructive and informative articles about life in our strange times. Take, for example, item that especially caught my eye described how locals are using the US-Mexican border fence as a volleyball net for promoting peace.

Property. Property rights.

From Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land": On the Wikipedia site for Woody is a first draft of the song, originally titled "God Blessed America." But the songwriter changed his mind, and the revision of the fourth verse of his well-known creation says a lot:

Was a high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property,
But on the back side it didn't say nothing —
God blessed America for me.
[This land was made for you and me.]

In 1949, Aldo Leopold wrote in "The Land Ethic" that while we preach the importance of the Golden Rule, our concept of love and community do not extend to the land. This remains true today, even though schoolchildren are taught about the interdependence of life in the natural world:

"Do we not already sing our love for and obligation to the land of the free and the home of the brave? Yes, but just what and whom do we love? Certainly not the soil, which we are sending helter-skelter down river. Certainly not the waters, which we assume have no function except to turn turbines, float barges, and carry off sewage. Certainly not the plants, of which we exterminate whole communities without batting an eye. Certainly not the animals, of which we have already extirpated many of the largest and most beautiful species."

Leopold goes on to say that the conqueror will eventually defeat himself:

"Why? Because it is implicit in such a role that the conqueror knows, ex cathedra, just what makes the community clock tick, and just what and who is valuable, and what and who is worthless, in community life. It always turns out that he knows neither, and this is why his conquests eventually defeat themselves."

By contrast, this Lakota prayer:
"To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.

To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.

To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.

To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.

To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.

To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages. I thank you.

To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.

You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.
Thank you for this Life." 

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