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An Expression of Gratitude —

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos- the trees, the clouds, everything.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

An Expression of Gratitude —

Espirational provides short posts that are often accompanied by lovely images. This quote from Thich Nhat Hanh relates to my post, Deep, the other day. It was Bela‘s post I shared and expanded on a bit.

If we think of Earth and Nature as living bodies, we can expand this quote about health as an expression of gratitude to encompass more than just each of us individuals and human bodies. In moments of gratitude, we should ask who benefits from pillaging the Earth and Nature? We can also ask who is most harmed?

Currently, I am reading a book by Gustavo Gutiérrez and Paul Farmer. Father Gutiérrez is a pioneers of Liberation Theology and Paul Farmer is a medical doctor and medical anthropologist who helped found Partners in Health. Part of the reading is to write about leadership, education, and how hope can inform each of us as we emerge from COVID-19, if we actually do.

I hoped a crisis of this magnitude, plus the social and racial justice reckonings, might be a time to (re)imagine and (trans)form leadership and education. I am unsure this is what will happen, as the agenda of the very wealthy does not seek a “preferential option for the poor” and those most in need, inlcuding Gaia and Mother Nature. Yes, there is talk, but most of that is empty words and political theatre, posturing and peformativity for one’s constituents. It takes peope filled with courage and hope to stand up and say we need something different.

My hope rests in the next generation, the young people who are already making a mark. I hope they do not become disenchanged and discouraged. In this vein, I leave you with the following quote, attributed to Tasunke Witko (Crazy Horse) days before he was killed.

Upon suffering beyond suffering:

The Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world; a world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations; a world longing for light again.

I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again.

In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom.

I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be one.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

21 responses »

  1. Beautiful post and words of wisdom. I believe this new earth of ‘oneness’ is rising among us now. Each of us has an opportunity to step up and expand now, as we face challenging times. And no matter what we choose, we will always affect the whole. 🙏🏻

    ‘ I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be one.’

  2. Thanks for sharing. May the Lord bless you and the project you are undertaking.

  3. There is always hope that the people of the world will realize their need to be one with nature and with each other. However, I don’t see this in the near future. It seems to me that the lines are drawn farther and farther apart with a few in control and the rest doing as they say. There are few of any age that I know who are attempting to bring peace and unity to the world. All I can do is my part to make my little corner of the world a happier place.

  4. Again, Vandana Shiva leaps to mind. She is an Indian scholar who has a no nonsense approach to calling out corporations for their irresponsible rape of the world for profit. Much of her work is centered around food culture and how to work within communities to feed and teach stewardship of the planet. She’s a huge outspoken critic of Monsanto, as well as billionaires with no conscience.

    Another thought: In traditional Chinese medicine, the stomach and spleen are considered the earth channels of the body. I think of this approach also while reading your post. Because literally if the earth is not healthy, what we take into our bodies cannot be digested properly. Our health suffers. We are out of balance with mother earth. I know this is not news to you!

    Thanks again for the mention, Ivon. Blessings.

    • Thank you for a lovely comment Bela. I have pulled Vandana Shiva’s book list up and am considering which one I will start with. It looks like a deep collection of potential reading.

      We should think of Earth and Nature as living bodies. If they are not healthy, humans cannot be healthy. Wendell Berry refers to the roots of economy and ecology coming from the word Oikos, meaning household. Without a healthy household, we are left with nothing.

      • Definitely! These flesh bodies are made of earth, in the balance of it
        Love Berry. I think I’ve read everything he’s ever written by now.

        Blessings on the Solstice! 🙏🌿🦚🌏

  5. Thank you for sharing Ivon…’Yes, there is talk, but most of that is empty words and political theatre, posturing and peformativity for one’s constituents. It takes people filled with courage and hope to stand up and say we need something different.’…yup…wee must do better. ☺️🌷 ps. somehow several blogs I’ve followed are not showing 🤷‍♀️ sending you joy ~ hedy

  6. Thank you for this post, Ivon. Thought-provoking and meaningful.


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