Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Earth, On Loan


Hello Optimists,

If there is one group of people that have been in-tune with nature from the earliest of days, I would have to say that would be the Native Americans. Now I will admit that though I did have a mild childhood obsession with Pocahontas, I still did not know very much about the culture from which she came. But after doing a little bit of searching, I found that this is a culture that has its roots built on the love of the earth and has always believed that "nature is life's greatest teacher". For them, Earth Day is every day and they always think about the impact of their daily activities on nature. So for this week in particular, I think there is a lot we can learn from the Native Americans.

I find their beliefs about nature pretty interesting, so I looked up a few of their core values on this subject and thought I would share some them with you.

  • Nature is something we live within and as a part of
  • We as humans are not here to dominate nature or feel superior to it
  • Nature is the location of our spiritual reality
  • Reverence, respect, and humility are one in a relationship with nature
And one other belief that they hold high was so great that I knew I had to use it for today's featured quote.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. -Native American proverb
This is very profound and something I think we should all believe to be true.  Sure, the earth has been around for billions of years and has carried thousands of generations of humans, but the years we are putting it to use during our lifetime is just a loan from the future generations that will eventually walk this land. We cannot think of the earth in terms of the past; we must look ahead to the future and preserve our planet for our families to enjoy for many thousands of years to come.

So as you read today's green facts, think about this: would the people of the future put the earth on loan to us if this is how we treat it?

Each of us uses approximately one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products per year. Think about that next time you put up your Christmas tree!
Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas. And we know everything is bigger in Texas!

I hope you take this into consideration today and start to think about the things you do on a daily basis in a different way. Whether you commit to taking on small challenges to reduce your negative impact on the earth, or whether you try to embody all of the Native American principles of nature, any change can make a difference. 

Have you learned anything this week that has changed your outlook on sustainability? What are your plans to make a difference?

Keep Smiling,


  1. I love that proverb. I'm going to share it with my not so earth friendly family members.

  2. I agree with you wholeheartedly! I definitely admire the Native American's respect for and relationship with nature. They are definitely an example I look too!

    And I totally had an obsession with Pocahontas as a kid too! It was my fave movie :-).

  3. Love your posts this week! That quote is killer! Thanks again for a GREAT guest post over on my blog!

    Kathy over at Everyday Bliss


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