Earthways’ purpose is to find a deeper understanding of our relationship to the natural world in order to bring additional light to the wisdom of our ancestors, the elders that have come before us. This awareness will help us address some of the problems that face the entire community of life with whom we share our planet. Upon realizing the interrelationship of all living things and becoming conscious of the destructive potential of local and planetary problems, such as ozone holes and global warming, it seems clear that action is needed to restore an appropriate balance.
Misunderstanding our circumstance within this global community has imposed a huge burden on the community. Humans’ sense of self importance, of standing outside the larger community, is the very thing that gives us license to exploit the planet: by eliminating habitat, by over-consumption, by not paying attention to what we are all doing.
Economics can not come first. Economic decisions must be woven with ecological wisdom. To paraphrase Gary Snyder from his book, Earth House Hold, the word “ecology” means the planet as a “house and home” . This context should be the underlying essence of all economic decisions. We have polluted our home out of ignorance. Will we continue to spoil our nest? How will we be truly nurtured? The children of the planet are suffering.
“Developing world” children are dying of malnutrition and preventable diseases at the rate of 40,000 per day, while in our society, wealth, fame and influence are compelling distractions that frequently consume our precious gift of life. Young people in our country have enough to eat but suffer deprivation from lack of connection to family, to Nature, to Spirit; and yet, these are the very things manifested when we understand the nature of interconnectedness.
So, what are we doing at EarthWays? Again and again I’m drawn to a poetic phrase from a Kate Wolf song: “We are crying for a vision that all living things can share”. We are crying within from the anguish of the destruction, crying tears. We are crying out to bring attention to the devastation and to find that vision for the Whales and Dolphins, for the two thousand year old Redwoods being brutally taken at Headwaters, and for the children dying daily. From this inward crying comes personal awareness that gives direction to our desire to take action. Personal transformation is the first step to global change. From “crying out” comes an action to contribute, in however small a fashion, to making things a little better.
We can help to save endangered species and stop destroying wildlife habitat, and we can reduce pollution in our cities. We can also change our perception and encourage our friends to awaken to a new understanding of Human’s relationship to Nature. Are we, at EarthWays, improving things for the community of life that Mother Earth has so generously created to accompany us on our short adventure here? I think that we are, at least a little. And I also believe that as more of us become involved things really will improve noticeably. As more of us become aware that happiness can come from appropriate relationship to plants and animals and people, the growing planetary problems will subside. A vision that all living things can share is complicated. But doing something to help is simple. Lets all just start there. What is EarthWays? We’re a group of people trying to do something to help.
Please join us by becoming a member of EarthWays.
Andrew Beath, Founder
(For an expanded explication of our mission and philosophy please refer to Andrew’s book: Consciousness In Action, the Power of Beauty, Love and Courage in a Violent Time at www.consciousnessinaction.com )