Examples of Reciprocity
Melbourne Treemail Project
By 2009 40% of the 77,000 trees in Australia’s ‘garden city’ of Melbourne were struggling or dying. The City Council came up with an innovative way of involving residents in tree-care. They assigned all trees ID numbers and mapped every tree in the city on a digital platform. Then, they invited the general public to log information on the website, enabling council workers to identify and come out to help any tree who was struggling in some way.
However, something extraordinary happened. . . . READ MORE
The Honorable Harvest
Botanist, bryologist, and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer speaks the language of plants. Rooted in the land and linked by an inherent reciprocal relationship, Kimmerer shares with us glimpses of how we can strengthen our relationship to all living beings of the earth. Informed by the teachings of plants and influenced by traditional elders of her tribe, Kimmerer translates the ways plants seek to connect with us. Their story is our story. It invites us to experience and reawaken a dormant memory of a centuries-old relationship that emerges from the soil. This is not a symbolic or abstract idea, rather, it is a calling for a genuine and authentic connection to the spirit of life.
The Biggest Little Farm
In 2011, Molly and John Chester kept a promise to their rescue dog, Todd, by leaving the city of Los Angeles to become farmers in the hopes of living “in perfect harmony with nature.” The Biggest Little Farm is a film that tells the story of their eight-year journey to re-invigorate 200 acres of infertile soil—land that had been over-worked by industrial farming methods (an example of Dominion to the exclusion of Reciprocity). The result is Apricot Lane Farms, a beautifully cultivated traditional foods endeavor where the health of the land, its wildlife, the livestock, and farm crew are all respected and regarded as integral to maintaining a living ecosystem.
On display in the film is the radical imagination it took for Molly and John to learn to live with the self-balancing laws of Nature . . . READ MORE
Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)
Avatar depicts the struggle between a native population, the “Navi,” that lives in natural kinship with all living things on their planet, Pandora, and an alien—human—civilization engaged in corporate exploitation. The humans are bent on exercising their Dominion and conquering Nature in the name of greed, hedonism and as a response to their failure to exercise population control on planet Earth. The Navi inherently practice Reciprocity and live in balance with Nature and respect its Dominion.
Ultimately, Avatar is about the relationship between humans and Nature. Historically our species has treated Nature as a commodity to be used – and wasted – as we please, both for comfort and for wealth. . . . READ MORE
Serendipity and the Power of Daydreams
“In Chinle, Arizona, some 250 miles from Albuquerque. I keep thinking Jerome Bernstein, Jungian psychologist from Santa Fe, is going to walk through the door. Then, Jerome walks through the door. It’s a Sunday, it’s Dec. 28 , it’s 12 degrees outside, and here is Jerome, 300 miles from home, walking in with his two canes—“Like a deer dancer,” he exclaims, beaming. Jerome looks like Christopher Lloyd but with a gentler laugh. He has a great halo of white hair surrounding an otherwise bald pate. He has a friend in tow, who he introduces as Christophe, a French quantum mechanics theorist who is also a Jungian.”
So begins Diane Joy Schmidt’s story in her article, “Serendipity and the Power of Daydreams,” that recounts a meaningful coincidence — an encounter C. G. Jung would call a “synchronicity.” Two independent paths unexpectedly crossed and created a soulful story. . . . READ MORE
To read Schmidt’s original article, visit her website.