There's a growing recognition in sustainable development and green building that "less bad isn't the same as good." There's a qualitative and quantitative difference. What we need for "good" to occur are practices that support regenerative and restorative development. That's certainly more than true of our politics also. In fact, for too long and by too much, we Americans have been lowering our standards for politicians. That, to my mind, explains a good part of why there are hundreds of thousands of people participating in Women's Marches today. Maybe, as a society, we're "hitting bottom" and getting ready to change?
|Water Is Life, there is no substitute|
Photo by J. Harrington
For a long while, I considered the possibility that the issues we face have to do with differing priorities rather than different values. No longer do I believe that's the case. For example, our "Common Core State Standards" make reference to students acquiring "knowledge and skills," but not to any values. Our politics and cultural wars are all about values, and whose values and ethics will prevail. Our classrooms have become battlegrounds for our politics. Our children are becoming collateral damage. I believe that's a major back story behind today's marches.
Here's part of a list of values I recently read about in Orion magazine. How many of these are taught in our schools, or, for that matter, in our homes?
- Knowledge of language
- Family and kinship
- Respect for elders and for each other
- Respect for Nature
One of my heroes, Aldo Leopold, in his writings about a Land Ethic, talks about life using different words when he tells us that we should:
“Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”Today's Women's March and Sister Marches are, it seems to me, trying to remind the new administration, and the rest of us, to "do the right thing," and support life. Without it, what do we have? I just wish we could get our new president to take part in a Nibi Walk. Perhaps then he could understand the concerns many are expressing today. Carrying water is much like
The Land Ethic, A Sand County Almanac.
A voice from the dark called out,‘The poets must give usimagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiarimagination of disaster. Peace, not onlythe absence of war.’But peace, like a poem,is not there ahead of itself,can’t be imagined before it is made,can’t be known exceptin the words of its making,grammar of justice,syntax of mutual aid.A feeling towards it,dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we haveuntil we begin to utter its metaphors,learning them as we speak.A line of peace might appearif we restructured the sentence our lives are making,revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,questioned our needs, allowedlong pauses . . .A cadence of peace might balance its weighton that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,an energy field more intense than war,might pulse then,stanza by stanza into the world,each act of livingone of its words, each worda vibration of light—facetsof the forming crystal.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.