Politics Based on Interbeing - A Vision for Our One Earth
Here in the United States we are in our final two months of a very protracted election season. Who has not yet felt the despondency of our broken political system that pits one against another, literally sibling against sibling (aren't we all siblings?) With the recent Tropical Storm Hermine and flooding in Louisiana, we see the impacts of what scientists say is confirmed climate change-caused coastal flooding. Domestic and world events both point to harsh and devastating world views that promote narcissism, totalitarianism, terrorism, racism, speciesism, consumerism, and an ever longer list of other “-isms.” We are killing our earth with the politics of division. How can we heal our one Earth with such dysfunction? Dare we hope for the possibility of change?
(Photo by Jonathan McIntosh)
Progress is possible, such as in the recent news that for the first time, writes author Steven Pinker, there "…are no military governments in the Americas. No countries are fighting one another. And no governments are battling major insurgencies." What made that possible? Surely the tragic loss of life and suffering motivated many, as did a vision that can sustain us through the worse. Hard and slow work were also necessary ingredients, as well as practicing what peace, compassion, and flourishing look like, and how to get there.
Steve Pinker urges us to not slip into comfort for, "…post-conflict societies always remain fragile and risk backsliding into war. Only continuing effort, support and vigilance can consolidate and expand the gains that have been made. Because we have come this far, we know we can go further. Progress toward peace moves slowly and uncertainly, but it is propelled by determination, ingenuity and the will of millions — and by the realization that peace is not a utopian ideal but an eminently attainable outcome."
Pinker, in his book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature," also points to empathy as a major contributor to the ever-widening circle of compassion and peace in our world. Empathy leads us to vision of interbeing, where we are connected, deeply, to others. What if USA politics began with a vision of interbeing that presumes that all individuals of all species have inherent worth and dignity, and what happens to another is done to all of us? We would not build walls, but tear them down. What if we worked hard and engaged in practices that promote flourishing in our actual political processes? Our debates would nurture us, no matter the outcome. We would not yell, but yield our hearts over to a grander thing.
One Earth Conservation combines empathy, vision, work, and practice for both our inner and outer work. We invite others to join our work, which is based on:
1. All individuals of all species have inherent worth and dignity (all bodies are beautiful, have worth, and matter).
2. All individuals of all species are connected to each other in worth and beauty.
3. We are also connected in harm, benefit, health, well-being, and existence. What is done to another, is done to all of us.
4. Embracing this reality, humans grow in belonging to this wondrous planet and the life upon it, and so embraced and nurtured, can nurture in return.
5. This reality of interbeing makes us both powerful and vulnerable, therefore, we need each other to grow and to heal as much as possible.
6. Humans are adaptable and can change, individually and as families, organizations, communities, and societies. We can become more effective and joyful nurturers and naturers.* This is hard, deep, intentional, and a lifetime's work.
If this vision, promise, and practice resonates with you, come dream and build with us. Together we will be a grander thing.
Ways to get involved:
1. Join our upcoming webinar: Nurture Nature: Loving Animal Nature through Multispecies Intelligence. To register, go here.
3. Get connected to community. Right now we have a Facebook page and our newsletter. Coming soon will be additional ways to join an affirming One Earth community both online and in person.
*Nurturer: One who nurtures any aspect of the biotic community, nurturing oneself as one’s neighbors
Naturer: One who cherishes nature and seeks opportunities to understand, experience, and be nourished by nature
We just need a big view of interbeing for a sustaining vision