I know everyone's eyes right now are on the situation in Japan and the unfolding nuclear crisis.
As different kinds of support are pouring in from around the world regarding how to assist in the crisis, there are some people who are turning to pray (or positive thoughts, good wishes, positive vibes) for the people of Japan.
As I reflect on how I can help, I am noticing a lack of concern for things other than the people of Japan.
Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like I don't care about what happens to the Japanese, or any person for that matter.
But the risk of nuclear contamination and the harm that nuclear radiation causes does not only affect humans.
That said, the nuclear crisis itself and our human-centred reaction to it has put us off balance in relation to everything else on this planet.
My concern: It's not just about us humans and how we are being affected by nuclear radiation.
We human are interconnected with all other life on this planet. I see our relationship to other creatures and the environment on Earth as one big circle. Humans are part of the ring or hoop, not standing in the center of it.
I hope you enjoy reading this article as I may be challenging your world view, but I do this in a friendly manner and not in an evangelistical way. Let's start with the concept of life and the environment as a circle.
According to the word of Black Elk (Oglala), "If a circle is envisioned and items are placed within it, we realize that each item or element has a relationship with each other in a fixed order within the system."
Added Donald L. Fixico (Seminole and Muscogee Creek), "Such entities or particles should be respected and treated equally since they all belong to the same universe."
Therefore, we are all connected on this planet; all linked together in a great hoop upon Mother Earth. No thing is more important than another thing since nothing is linear, but circular. Nothing happens in isolation from each other and from all the things on this Earth.
It is times like these -- our reaction to the nuclear crisis in Japan -- that I realize just how human-centred we are as a species. We seem to believe that the nuclear crisis and impact is all about us.
Let me explain (or: let me share with you some of the things about the world that I have been taught -- some people will consider the following "flaky").
I never grew up with a Judeo-Christian world view where "God" loves humans so much that God put humans at the top of the pile of "God's" creations; thus giving us supreme dominion over the planet where all things around us simply there for us to use, dominate and exploit.
Explained by Jackie Yellow Tail (Crow), "The Christian way of seeing the world is that within this circle, there is a man called Jesus; on the outside is the trees, the rocks, the animals; all around the world are the different things that are on Mother Earth. In the centre is man above all things.
The Indian way of thinking is that there is the same circle, Mother Earth, and all around her are the rocks, the trees, the grass, the mountains, the birds, the four-legged and man. Man is the same as all those other things, no greater, no less."
So while news broadcasters notify the public of humanity's luck that the winds are blowing the radiated air out to sea instead of over human populated areas, instead of breathing a sigh of relief, or celebrating, rather I cry for the sea.
I cry for the air, the wind, the sea and all the creations that exist because we are all related. "An injury to one is an injury to the whole." Just because humans are being spared doesn't mean everything is ok, crisis averted.
I am not celebrating because the wind has "spared" us humans while poisoning other plants, animals, the air and water, etc. The wind does not, and was not created, to carry nuclear particles; the wind wants to carry good things like seeds, not poison.
It is the spirit (energy) of the water particles, the air particles, all the aspects of nature that are being poisoned right now, whether we can see them or not.
It is the very energy of the essence of the air and water that is being affected. If you find this concept spiritual-thus-flaky, then consider instead the concept of quantum physics or perhaps the work of Japan's own Masaru Emoto and his work The Messages of Water, which describes how human emotions can affect water at a molecular level.
We are all connected.
Still too flaky for you? Intellectuals call this concept of inter-connectedness globalization.
Canadians could rationalize that the nuclear crisis is occurring in Japan, in another nation separated from us by a large sea.
It was announced yesterday that there are concern over food contamination by radiation in areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The "World Health Organization officials told reporters Monday that Japan should act quickly to ban food sales from areas around the damaged nuclear plant, saying radiation in food is more dangerous than radioactive particles in the air because of accumulation in the human body."
Regarding this contamination, we are seeing nuclear particles are moving up the food chain, and according to Canadian mainstream society, we are at the top of the food chain. We cannot escape this reality any more than we can affect the direction the wind blows. More proof that we are all connected.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the potential doomsday coverage from Japan, even as one or two hopeful stories seem to slip out.
In the spirit of inter-connectedness or globalization, it is important that we pay attention as the story unfolds in that other nation, across that large sea.
The Japanese people, their society and infrastructure have suffered a terrible blow and like most Canadians, my thoughts are with them as they struggle to contain the nuclear crisis and rebuild. I wish them much strength and courage -- not only for the Fukushima 50 but for everyone.
If prayer (or good wishes or positive vibes or good energy) is one way you'd like to express your support as you pray for the people of Japan -- please also pray for Mother Earth and all her creatures.
We all are related. And by we, I don't mean just us two-legged.