“The human family has invaluable friends and irreplaceable allies in the plant and animal worlds. We cannot continue to tug at the web of life without tearing a hole in the very fabric of our earthly existence — and eventually falling through that hole ourselves.”―Van Jones
This issue contains these introductory remarks from Dan Mahle, plus articles on wind damage, Community Gardening Leadership application process, Reinventing Organizations, Gordon Watanabe of Personal Leadership Seminars, and Thomas Berry’s 101th birthday. Click here to view the full issue and read on.
We’re All in This Together
by Dan Mahle
Editor’s note: this is an abridged version of Dan’s introductory remarks from the 2015 Salish Sea Bioneers Conference, held at the Whidbey Institute in November.
I’d like to invite us to start by recognizing the land and the people of the Lower Skagit tribe who lived here and stewarded this place for many thousands of years. My deepest hope is that the work we do here together will honor all of those who have come before us, and all who are yet to be born.
Bioneers is rooted in the fundamental understanding that all life is interrelated: “It’s all alive, it’s all connected, it’s all intelligent, it’s all relatives.” We’re all in this together—and yet, sometimes we feel so alone.
My mother taught me that the key to overcoming the feeling of isolation is to become interested in others—to listen not just to what they say, but to who they are . . . and even to who theystrive to become.
As many people have observed, “The climate crisis is a symptom, not a cause.” It is symptomatic of a failing worldview—a story of humanity that is no longer serving life. Van Jones reminds us that the consumeristic mindset that makes us think it’s ok to throw away plastic cups is the same mindset that allows us to accept the idea that there are throwaway people, throwaway species, and throwaway places.
Will we have the courage to look beneath the facade of false solutions and comfortable quick-fixes? To look down into the root causes of injustice and exploitation?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Will we choose to remain silent in this vital time, or will we choose to educate and divest ourselves from the systems of oppression that have kept us divided for so long?
Inaction is action. There is no neutral stance. Where do we stand? Are we willing to challenge and transform the current narrative, starting from within? To journey into the unknown, to feel the grief of all we have lost and all we may yet lose, and yet still keep our hearts open?
How else can we possibly meet the challenges of our time?