Rawles, Kate - A Copernican Revolution in Ethics.pdf -...

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45reverence and to tell those stories to you, our children.We find reverence for the Earth in many different ways. Some of us, gardeners and farmers, feel it in our hands when we dig inthe dirt. Some of us resonate to the stories of our faiths, stories about the Garden of Eden and its bounty. Some of us feel theresponsibility of human awareness of our blessings. Some see the hand of God most clearly in an experience of wilderness. Someconnect to that reverence through ceremony. Some experience the embrace of Earth-love in the ways of healthycommunities—places where we greet and care for one another, not use each other mercilessly.I remember communities that lived by the rhythms of nature, punctuating the year with celebrations of natural and supernaturalevents. I remember the sense of nobility and richness in these communities without indoor plumbing or electricity. They had asense of right living, a rhythm and pace that matched the nature around them. They, too, had problems; their people were saddledwith an experience of multigenerational trauma and rage that continued to kill them when the perpetrators had long since passed.The sense of reverence for nature, the gifts and creatures of the Earth, was still part of the fabric of their daily lives and formalceremonies.This reverence for Earth and nature unites us far more than our differences about what to call it separate us. We are the people ofthe Earth. We do not own her; we belong to her. What she experiences, we experience. What we experience, she experiences. Wedream her dreams. We cannot do things to her without doing them to ourselves. That is the truth about who we humans are as aspecies, and that will be what is remembered about us, not the reasons for our wars, not our warlords.What would it mean to live without the gifts and blessings of nature that we now enjoy? It would be like dreamless sleep, likenothingness or absence. This nature we have in common defines us, keeps us healthy and sane. The connection we form with thecycles of nature keeps us rich in spirit and growing. Chief Seattle described the connection this way: “Whatever befalls the Earthbefalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does tohimself.”17Our redemption lies in a multigenerational effort that we must start and you must carry. We must demand reconciliation of ourfaiths, and amends-making to the Earth from our nations. Our faiths clothed conquest, murder, slavery, and rape with a powerfulentitlement. For sins done in the name of faith, faith must atone. Our nations have spent your inheritance on arms. They must giveback to the Earth accordingly, in ways that care for the systems that support life, not by using force to take life.

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Term
Spring
Professor
seema sehgal

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