What Boundaries? - Cyclic Musings
Earlier this semester, I had posted a short paragraph on "What boundaries?" in my Thoreauvian walk while comparing the implications of a wall separating the campus from "the rest of the world." Essentially, I came to the conclusion that these physical, "man-made" boundaries do little to separate "bryn mawr" from the rest of the world. Our world is not entirely physical - it is also energetic, interconnected, cyclic, and continually transforming. This idea of separation of physical, "man-made" boundaries in relation to the Earth is further expanded upon by both Waring and Laduke in their respective writings.
Waring writes in Counting for Nothing, "One of the things that nature could demonstrate was that it didn't know anything about nation-state boundaries...When the ocean was demarcated into 200-mile economic zones and fishing quotas, did cod carry passports to indicate that they belonged to North America or Scandinavia?"
Indeed man-made nation-state boundaries come in very handy during times of war, economic interaction, and for statistics of measurement (i.e. GDP, child mortality, HIV infliction rate, life expectancy - see www.gapminder.org) requiring distinct separation of pieces of land into their relative nations and governments. However, they do not come in handy during times in which a different worldview is absolutely required - such as during honest acknowledgement of the environmental circumstance at hand.
Laduke states in Honor the Earth: Our Native American Legacy, "The fact is that you and I drink that water. You and I breathe that air. You and I live here. We can say whatever we want...but in the big picture of things, it is natural law in the end."
As Einstein states, "no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." This point may be directly applied to our current environmental issue. When dealing with our planet - we can no longer afford to meticulously calculate the distinctions between the stability of one nation-boundary over another because these calculations become null and void when subjected to the natural law. A mega tsunami will not choose exactly one nation over another and leave all other neighboring nations free of harm, in fact, it may affect the entire continental landmass if not multiple. Similarily, rising sea levels will not only affect the state of Florida - they will affect every state. When mothers milk in South Africa is contaminated with dieldrin (Waring) and when father's DNA in North America are mutated to become more predisposed to diabetes through dioxin (Laduke), it is not just these mothers and fathers and their immediate children that will be affected but generations of humans to come - and these generations will transcend nation-state boundaries due to the current mobility offered by technological advancements. We can no longer afford to negatively separate ourselves if we would like to help improve the state of the Earth. It's time to shift to a new level of consciousness, and begin working on a larger holistic level if we should begin solving the issue at hand.
One of my favorite lines in the Winona LaDuke Reader include the following, which I think is a wonderful closing for the discussion above:
"As a person, I'm the one who has the right to determine what my destiny is...I do not relinquish that responsibility to someone else. I keep that, because that is what the Creator said. The Creator said, "You are full human beings with that integrity, and you have that right to determine your destiny."