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Being a Bee

I commented on How to Land about Eco Ethics. The underlying principle is deep ecology which shifts us from an environmental anthropocentric and views all living beings as having inherent worth and not merely instrumental value. Deep ecology understand a complex interdependence between all living beings and allows that to guide decision-making. We are part of the Earth and not holding dominion over it in this sense. We can make similar decisions about harvesting, mining, and building as we do but use numerous perspectives in doing so.

James Hatley wrote, The Uncanny Goodness of Being Edible to Bears. He referred to hunters, outdoors people, and survivors of bear attacks. People, who are deep ecologists, revere Nature and understand the risks of entering wilderness. Their view is Nature and what it holds makes us more human and complete, as we are one with Nature and not separate.

I wrote this poem as one way to better understand the concept myself.

Am I more than the sum of parts?

More than just a body, a mind, a spirit?

If so, what role might the bee play?

The one who manufactured honey?

The one I so enjoyed with bread today.

Is he or she part of me?

Or, is there even more to it than that?

What about the clover?

The water and other things used in delectable manufacture?

Can I now take that Bee’s perspective?

Ever so fleetingly,

Does it make a difference?

Might it be a lesson in being more human?

Letting the Bee be part of me?

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

10 responses »

  1. Love this. Anyone who doesn’t understand our interdependent relationship with nature doesn’t get that if there were no trees, plants, etc. giving off oxygen, and in return inhaling our carbon dioxide, then what would become of our bodies? To me it’s a much richer world that I am in relationship with all around me, not just other humans (and based on our divorce statistics we humans seem to have trouble relating anyway). Much to be learned from what you post. :-) Paulette

    Reply
    • Thank you Paulette. This post touched a chord with people as you and others made similar comments. Last night, I was reading and a comment in the text was similar to the one you make about divorce statistics. Perhaps, if we saw ourselves differently in relationship to the world, we might remedy those issues as well.

      Reply
  2. There is such beauty, and balance in nature. I’ve worked at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, and taught children some of the concepts you discuss, here. We SO need to understand this and make it part of who we are a children together in this world.

    Reply
  3. I’d so prefer that the bear be part of you, instead of you inside of the bear! ;)

    I enjoyed your thoughtful poem very much, and agree that it’s an important conversation, especially when you and others can influence the young and open minded.

    Reply
  4. I always have a doubt regarding the concept of oneness as to how to be fair participant in it. For instance, I do not like sericulture and don’t buy silk because of the curelty done to silkworms. But again, sericulture sustains the basic livelihood of weavers and farmers. So I am always confused as to who to be fair to. When it comes to life, human beings are as much a part of nature too. Looks like we can never make a heap without making a hole which means It is either hard or impossible for us to be totally fair. All things being equal, we can only favor one good thing over another good thing.

    Reply
    • The underlying concept of Eco Ethics or deep ecology is that those decisions remain. You have actually demonstrated the way it is done. You see the silk worm and the worker’s perspectives. And, you are right. There is no one fair approach. Your comment about humans being a part of life is the key.

      Reply

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