A while ago, I came across these words from Chief Seattle from the time when his people were required to give up their land in the middle of the 19th century.
Chief Seattle’s Prayer
Every part of this 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 our veins. We are
part of the earth and its part of us. The perfumed flowers
are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle,
these are our brothers.
The rocky crests, the juices 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.
Each ghostly reflection in the clear water 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 to the rivers the
kindness you would give any children.
So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give
any brother … Remember that the air is precious to us, that
the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that
gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last
sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life .
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 which 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.
– Chief Seattle 1855
Though there are various versions of this “prayer”, the essence of Chief Seattle’s wise words come through – it is our land and it is up to us to care for it. Just what would he make of all the damage we are currently causing to our planet?
The point is that it is up to US to do something about it.
When will you start?!