I attended an inspiring talk by Robin Wall Kinmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass, last year. In the talk and in her book, she poignantly describes the contrast between the colonizers and her indigenous peoples’ view of the world.

The settlers regarded nature as a resource, whereas they regarded the earth as a generous mother who bestows them with life and gifts.

The Westerners regarded humans as occupying the top position of a pyramid, whereas they regarded all species as inter-dependent kin in a circle of life and humans being the little brothers who are new to the scene and have a lot to learn from wise elder species.

The Westerners endlessly sought more and played god, while the natives learned to live harmoniously and gently, with divine reverence.

This difference in mindset and the language used to describe the world and our place in it both causes and affects their relationships and behaviors.

We live in a world of colonizers and are offsprings of colonizers because colonizers are the ones who dominate and spread. But hopefully, at some point, we’ll feel satiated and start considering the world around us. 

A first simple step, Robin recommends, could be to address the other living beings around us more personally and lovingly as Ki.