To Change Our Direction, It’s Time to Follow Nature’s Lead
yesmagazine.org — I live among Chief Seattle’s people, and one of the things I’ve learned from this experience is humility. I say, “I’ve lived here 12 years—longer than I’ve lived anywhere!” And then I look around at the ancient petroglyphs and the shell middens that whiten the beaches, and I remember that my neighbors’ ancestors have lived here for thousands of years. I talk about the growing divide in our society between the 1 percent and the 99 percent. Then I’m invited to a potlatch, where a seafood feast is followed by an outpouring of gift giving. Ah yes, these people figured out centuries ago that inequality upsets the delicate balances that allow societies to thrive. So instead of gaining status from accumulating stuff, they earn respect by giving it away.