What Does the Earth Ask of Us?

Daniela Tarolli ‘15, STAFF WRITER

As Pope Paul VI said, “All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”

Too often people become selfish in their beliefs, and turn a blind eye to what is in great need of our help.  Everything we have grown from, and have gotten our substance from is in dire need of a little help in return;  Dr. Kimmerer’s from Syracuse’s own ESF, came to talk on March 23rd, in the McDevitt center about what needs to be done in order to sustain our larger home, Earth.

Coming from a “traditional Ecological background,” Dr. Kimmerer was raised with the consideration of Mother Earth always being in mind.  She is an active member of the Potawatomi tribe and believes that people have become so self absorbed, and concerned with themselves rather than maintaining the one thing that allows us to live, that we have lost our sense of gratitude for the one who needs it most.  Understanding the great need for science in our advanced world, she believes that people as well as Mother Earth would benefit exponentially if we not only looked at science through a narrow scoped lense, but rather through a multiview one.

Dr. Kimmerer gave a great example to demonstrate how we might be able to reduce our footprint and work together, not only with each other but plants as well.  Rather than planting three different rows of vegetables, she showed that if we were to plant corn as a fence for beans to grow up, then that would combine those two, as well as planting squash in the same location to have the big fan shaped leaves provide shade and a damp location for the beans to thrive off of.  The beans would proved the corn with nutrients to grow as well, Dr. Kimmerer showed us that it’s not enough to just plant something with no regards to other organisms, but rather to have the plants work off each other, and ultimately save space, as well as having these plants use the nutrients from one another.

We would be able to learn a great deal of cooperation from this example, not only are plants able to work together to further benefit each other, but people would be able to use these methods as well.  This would enable us to sustain each other, simultaneously helping to sustain Mother Earth as well, the one entity who has not been our sole provider.  Dr. Kimmerer showed us this is our time to be able to help, to be able to show our gratitude, and to be able to help maintain our Earth for not only our generations, but future generations to come.