All of the genetic diversity found within humanity across the globe stems largely from our environment. We are designed as human beings to adapt physically to the land on which we live. We are in ongoing relationship with the earth. This gives us the breathtaking physical diversity found in our world, from Africa, to China, to Scandinavia, to the Americas and beyond. It is a mark of our engagement with the land. It is a magnificent example of partnership in action and has, over the past fifty thousand years, made our world a richer and more beautiful place.
So, if we are patterned to respond to the land, and we have desecrated, abused, and genetically modified our land, what kinds of adaptations will that breed in us? If we are slowly killing the land on which we live, (and we are) and weakening it, what does that mean for us, who, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, depend upon the land and its fruits for our survival?
Since industrialization, and especially within the last generation, we’ve seen a tremendous growth in cancer, learning disabilities, autism, allergies (severe allergies, enough to imperil children’s lives) and many other diseases and issues. 25% of society suffers from some form of mental illness (a percentage simply not seen within indigenous cultures). We have seen humanity grow weaker and weaker as they engage less and less. We have seen humanity embody and adapt to a diseased environment, one of its own making. This is what we are bequeathing to our children. We feed them poison as surely as if we were putting it in their mouths with our own hands. What we do to the land we do to ourselves.
Fundamentalist Christianity does not care about the land. They believe that their scriptures teach that Jesus will not return until no trees are left standing. They have enshrined destruction of the natural world into their dominant creed and have set about seeing that destruction brought to fruition with a vengeance. This is the birthright that is being left to our children and our children’s children. It goes beyond having abandoned our ancestors’ relationship with and obligation to the land, and into active destruction.
We must open ourselves to the agony of our world. We must learn again to hear the pain of the land as it is slowly being poisoned. We must learn to hear its cries and to re-develop the type of compassion that spurs us to respond. We must stop pissing on this treasure that was left to our care. ..not just for the earth itself but for ourselves, our children, and their children’s children too. Because in the end, that’s who we’re harming the most.
What we do to the land we do to ourselves.