Now is the Time to Stand

By Jamaica Stevens on Friday November 11th, 2016

Why We All Need to Become People of Place

Now is the time to Stand. This is what it means to be a Person of Place. It means there is no more fleeing. It means knowing, and loving, and protecting the Waters in the place you call home – this is our first source of life. It means knowing, loving, and protecting the forests, the plants, the animals, the soil, the seeds, the vitality of life in the place we consider home. It’s a dynamic relationship – one that you show up to cultivate everyday. It is about becoming a living culture of inter-connectedness. The way of culture is slow and takes time to develop, which means it also takes time for a “culture shift” to occur. It is time that we REALLY look at what our “culture” is as a people of the United States.

In the face of oppression, war and lack – many of us who call America home have been fleeing for generations upon generations to find some other land, some other place, uprooted from our own sense of home and belonging, we have sought a better life, somewhere else scattering our people, disconnecting our inter-generational bonds and therefore our wisdom. The confrontation and polarization upon us now requires that we have to STAND accountable for what it is that we have enacted.

We have to face that those “other places” we sought had “other people” – who were rooted, who had long-standing relationships with the ecology, the waters, the minerals, the animals of these lands we sought to claim for ourselves so that we might feel secure, build a prosperous life. We ruthlessly took what was already someone else’s many, many, times over, demolishing culture, ecology, and the Spirit of People of Place along the way. Considering ourselves righteous, entitled, superior – perhaps to cover up our sense of fear, loss, and insecurity that we would be able to survive – we became takers.

Many of us have been fleeing for generations upon generations to find some other land.Many of us have been fleeing for generations upon generations to find some other land.

We Are the Ones Here Now

Dear Friends – There is no more fleeing! There is no “other” place where the grass is greener. There is really only this one Earth, and where ever you are on it – we will still have to face generations and generations worth of unprocessed grief, guilt, shame, oppression, destruction, disconnection and what kind of “global culture” that has created.

We may not have been there at the historical choice points that led to such unconscious and damaging acts, but WE ARE THE ONES HERE NOW who get to decide what we want to DO about it. So friends, as you despair over this election, as you reel at this man who has become our president – he who epitomizes the WORST in American culture – go ahead and grieve. Be outraged, be lost, be shocked – let your tears flow, let your feelings come up to the surface, let it be like a dam that has finally, FINALLY burst forth all of this holding back and let it become a release of all that has not been felt, looked at, admitted, acknowledged. Let it start a wildfire in your heart that blazes like the earth we have torched, the fuel we relentlessly burn, the gunpowder that has sparked our wars.

Let yourself face this “culture” in an honest and accountable way and feel the sadness at what has been lost, the concern for what may be lost soon… Let yourself love what you love so deeply that it creates in you a sense of ferocity, a sense of empowerment, a sense of purpose – that it compels you to STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT – MAKE YOUR VOICE KNOWN, ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR DEEPEST VALUES AND IN CONSIDERATION OF ALL OF LIFE…… Love what you love so much that you would bond together with those you know, and those you haven’t known yet, in SOLIDARITY, to stand up for what is shared between you, what is precious and what is our responsibility to be the stewards of. Let yourself see with eyes that can penetrate the illusions, feel with a heart unencumbered by the shackles of fear, act with authority or “authorship” because this is your life, your future, your children’s future, and now these are your lands, your people, your waters too. It’s time we act in accordance with what true power actually means – as it has been said: “with great power comes great responsibility”.

This is your life, your future, your children’s future.This is your life, your future, your children’s future.

This is the Time for Forgiveness

This is a time for conscious, non-violent, fiercely devoted action. This is ultimately a time for forgiveness – which first means becoming accountable. We need to find forgiveness in each other. We need to forgive our ancestors. We need to forgive ourselves. We need to hear the voices of those that have been unheard, face the grief unfelt, we need to let the wounds we have inflicted or that have been inflicted upon us be felt fully so that healing might finally come. We need to atone for how we exclude, judge, or oppress others, we need to really have an honest conversation about the state of our ecology, our climate and we need to set down our rhetoric and unite in regenerative solutions and strategies for local, bioregional, and global resilience and long-term viability.

We need to get uncomfortable enough to make the changes we can – in our own lives, every day – through our choices about what we eat, what we consume, what we purchase, how we treat our water, how we spend our time, how we relate to those around us, what messages we intake and output, how we care for our children and for one another in our daily actions. We need to root in and become people of place, walking humbly as students because many of us don’t actually know this place we call home.

We haven’t actually built a reciprocal relationship of meaning to the Earth or to each other. We have much to learn and so we should listen to our teachers, to those Peoples who ARE People of Place. To those who DO know the Earth we stand on, and to those who work WITH the Earth because we are not separate. There is only here and now, we are the only we, there is only one Earth and we are inextricably woven as one organism. It is NOT too late to shift the tides, to course correct our behavior, to gather momentum towards a future grown in the compost of what has been. NOW is the time to STAND… together, and get to work. And our work is CREATION.

Credit: Jamaica Stevens –  VillageLab and ReInhabitingtheVillage

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2 Responses to Now is the Time to Stand

  1. Thanks so much for this – it is exactly what I needed to read today! During the past few years I’ve thought more and more about how the Europeans set off around the world 500 years ago and just took what they wanted (or perceived they needed at the time) for themselves and the injustice of this – and now I can see the connection with our collective feelings of guilt about it, that we aren’t even conscious of… Like every trauma, it needs to be worked through, and this can only begin when we accept we are traumatised and where it might come from. I’m going to share your article on fb – hope it meets with some resonance. Sending love and gratitude!

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. I have felt deeply called to get more quiet, ground myself in the energies of Mother Earth, learn to LISTEN, and take a firm stand. This article gives voice to what I have been feeling.

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