Saturday, January 8, 2022


I'm in a slow-motion reading group for the book All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. It's a collection of essays by women from a wide range of life experiences.

There are at least two parts that relate to one of my recurring ruminations, about how to best organize a society (particularly its legal/governmental system).

First, this quote from Sherri Mitchell (Weh'na Ha'mu Kwasset), an attorney and member of the Penawahpskek Nation:

Indigenous knowledge.... recognizes the familial relationship and acknowledges that all life is both sovereign and interdependent, and that each element within creation (including humans) has the right and the responsibility to respectfully coexist as coequals within the larger system of life (p. 19).

What would a legal system based on those premises look like?

Second, this poem from Joy Harjo, Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is Poet Laureate of the United States:

For those who would govern

First question: Can you first govern yourself?

Second question: What is the state of your own household?

Third question: Do you have a proven record of community service and compassionate acts?

Fourth question: Do you know the history and laws of your principalities?

Fifth question: Do you follow sound principles? Look for fresh vision to lift all the inhabitants of the land, including animals, plants, elements, all who share the earth?

Sixth question: Are you owned by lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, lobbyists, or other politicians, anyone else who would unfairly profit by your decisions?

Seventh question: Do you have authority by the original keepers of the lands, those who obey natural law and are in the service of the lands on which you stand? (p. 84)

These ideas aren't directly related, but in my head I see connections to those Ten Commandments I posted yesterday.

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