Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Lessons in Giving Thanks

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In a consumer-driven society, it’s easy to take for granted the abundance of Earth’s natural resources by which we’re surrounded: fresh air to breathe, plants, water, and food. What if we looked at each of these life-giving sources as gifts, fellow persons even, rather than mere objects for our taking? YES! Magazine writer Robin Wall Kimmerer challenges readers to consider how we treat and interact with the organic materials on which our lives depend, and look more closely at how we can replenish as much as we absorb. The Honorable Harvest, an indigenous practice, applies to every exchange between people and Earth, and is governed by reciprocity, gratitude, and taking only what you need. Kimmerer writes, “When we speak of the living world as kin, we also are called to act in new ways, so that when we take those lives, we must do it in such a way that brings honor to the life that is taken and honor to the ones receiving it.”