I want to share a story with you – a very important story
that, for those who fully grasp the meaning, it will resolutely guide our work during
these opportune times.
This story was told to us by an Indigenous person whose
people live in Canada along the Pacific coast. She received the story from an
elder, who told her that many many generations ago, her people were
anticipating the return of the salmon – for it was that time of year.
The first day of salmon season, no fish appeared. The next
day, they waited, and still no fish appeared. They waited day after day, the
next week and the following week. Still no salmon.
On the very last day of salmon season, the salmon returned –
but only a handful. The people got together and talked about what they would
do. The group consensus was to not harvest the salmon this season so that they
would have a chance to grow and return abundant the following year.
That winter, over half her people died of starvation. But the
salmon returned the next season and her people survived.
These people were willing to sacrifice their very lives for
the sake of the future life of the peoples.
She spoke of our present day need to find the willingness to
make the short term sacrifice, to accept the present day loss, for the long
term good, for the long term survival.
She told us how her people believed they MUST consider the
next SEVEN generations when making any decision.
For us, living in this day, in this country, the question of
“sacrifice” is not about going without salmon but is really moot: for look
around us, look at our very lives. Very few of us are living a life that we
love, that we are proud of, that brings honor and respect and kindness – let alone
a clear conscience – to our beings and families and country.
And because of our true history of how this country was ‘cleared’
of First Nation people in order to make a country for white society, and then
how Africans were stolen and enslaved to build wealth for white society, and
how we’ve militarily attacked nearly every country in the world to grab even those
resources, and how we destroy the Mother Earth in order to be the 2 largest
consumers of fossil fuels on our Mother Earth (the u.s. military #1 consumer,
our country #2) – because we are rooted and growing in these bloody, ugly truths
of our nation, even if you THINK you’re happy, not hurting anyone, guilt-free,
you are not.
For the life planted, nourished and grown from the
amerikkkan nitemare is froth with destruction of a whole lotta someone’s lives,
where valuing property and money over human life and life of the Mother Earth
reigns and cannot be separated from the amerikkkan nitemare.
So when we ‘sacrifice’ that amerikkkan nitemare, we are
merely gaining our humanity, liberating ourselves as we know liberation for the
first time ever.
Freedom is not free to exploit or take advantage of historical
exploitation of others but is the release from the clutches of the quest for
amerikkkan nitemare, of extricating the internal damage of amerikkkan nitemare
infused in our cells, and then we or our 7 future generations can stumble on
the path to finding true meaning that is planted and grown from only one thing:
the sacredness of all life.
Have you watched real footage from the Algerian Revolution
when the people overthrew the French? We often say in this country there are
many, many, many more individuals than police. When looking at the footage of
these courageous people, hundreds of thousands of them clothed in civilian garb
maybe with a stick in their hands or a stone, faced men in military gear
hoisting rifles over their shoulders.
The people charged the soldiers knowing many were going to
be killed. Row after row after row of civilians did fall, but the rest of the
people broke thru the lines and lines of soldiers, eventually disarming them,
and shouting their victorious freedom.
The willingness to sacrifice short term life for the long
We know, those of us that see, we know that we are not just
talking about our freedom from capitalism, racism, sexism, violence, wars, the
amerikkkan nitemare but we are talking about the very survival of life on this
200 species of life are eliminated EVERY DAY on our planet –
not by “human beings”, not by the sheer numbers of us, but by OUR EMPIRE. We
need to stop trying to “sustain” our lifestyles but work to dismantling OUR
For we all know, those of us that are looking around,
seeing, feeling, hearing, we all know, in our heart of hearts, if we do not
make our short term sacrifices, there will be no long term life.
Right now, First Nation people, all over our planet, are
putting their lives on the line to stop the exploitation by oil and mining companies
that is killing the Mother Earth – so we in the U.S. can be the people of the
world that have cheap gas, 24/7 electricity and 1,500 plastic water bottles a
Right now, Black people are in leading uprising into the
streets, working to SHUT IT DOWN!
I think we all need t ask ourselves, what short term ‘sacrifice’
are we willing to make to ensure the future of life on our planet?
The other choice, which many u.s.ofa. people seem willing to choose for all life on this planet, is to be the murderers of Mother Earth.