Consider the source of any bounty. A delicious dish of roasted brussel sprouts. A beautiful diamond. The materials to build a satisfying shelter, either piled up on site or arranged as they are when the build is complete. In each case, what is the source like, what is the harvest like? What is the supply chain like? Is there appropriate reciprocity, mutual benefit, and honor?
It can be either way, a virtuous regenerative cycle or a dishonorable, self-destructive cycle.
Consider this in your own life, and what do you find? Being among the people who can read and write on the internet, it is likely that we’re engaged in much forced-taking and dishonorable harvest. For example, the Earth provides some food freely or with mutually beneficial work, but much of the food in the United States comes to us through forceful production, harvest, transport, etc. in a cycle which depletes the very resources (e.g. soil, clean water) which it relies on.
Should we be ashamed of the dishonorable harvests we’re engaged in? Many are not our conscious choice or something we can easily affect; this is simply the world we’ve been born into, and it’s quite convenient at that! Yet I’d argue we should be ashamed, for who else will be? It is like a first step to improvement: acceptance. Accepting the dishonor of these processes is a first step. But do not let shame get you stuck in place. Let it inspire you to improve, to make the small steps you can each day on the long journey toward regenerative landscapes and lifestyles, rather than forceful, dishonorable and depleting harvests.
Don’t waste your hate, rather gather and create
Be of service, be a sensible person
Use your words and don’t be nervous
You can do this you’ve got purpose
Find your medicine and use it.
– Manifesto by Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People
This applies to the internal landscape as well as the external one. Cultivating contentedness of mind, speech, and body.