& # 8211 ; More Relevant Than Ever Essay, Research Paper
Much could be learned by modern Americans, so all Westerners, from Chief Seattle, a Native American head who lived in the Puget Sound country of contemporary Washington State. In 1855 he wrote a missive to President Franklin Pierce, which discussed his positions on Westerners & # 8217 ; intervention of the environment and the inevitable suicide of Western civilization by manner of environmental devastation. In his missive, Chief Seattle illustrates how his people and the Westerners have extremely different cultural paradigms, and hence can non understand each other. & # 8220 ; We know that the white adult male does non understand our ways, & # 8221 ; writes Seattle, in mention to Native American & # 8217 ; s intervention of the environment, or more accurately, the suppressing people & # 8217 ; s mistreatment. Later, with irony, and apparently humouring the opposing point of position, he writes, & # 8220 ; But possibly it is because the ruddy adult male is a barbarian and does non understand. & # 8221 ; Seattle offers a warning about the destiny that Westerners will bechance should they non alter their ways: & # 8220 ; Continue to pollute your bed, and you will one dark suffocate in your ain waste. & # 8221 ; He condemns Western people for mistreating the Earth, and he believes that Western civilization & # 8217 ; s try to deny its ain bond with nature will be its ruin. His statements are made in the tone of a adult male who, while disturbed and saddened by the destiny bechancing his people, has accepted the inevitableness of the state of affairs and is contending with words, non force. I wholeheartedly agree with Chief Seattle & # 8217 ; s review of Western attitudes towards the environment. His observations and unfavorable judgments ; western civilization & # 8217 ; s maltreatments of the planet, deficiency of fear for nature, and failure to acknowledge its ineluctable bond with the Earth, are as relevant in 21st century America as they were when Chief Seattle wrote them in 1855.
Chief Seattle was highly critical of the manner Westerners destroy the Earth they live on, and his unfavorable judgment is really pertinent today. He saw the Western colonists as takers, takers & # 8220 ; who [ come ] in the dark and [ take ] from the land whatever [ they need ] . & # 8221 ; He believed that the white colonists, who represent Western civilization, had no love for the land on which they lived. He shows contempt for the & # 8220 ; white adult male & # 8217 ; s & # 8221 ; attitude towards the Earth: & # 8220 ; The Earth is non his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. & # 8221 ; Maybe Chief Seattle had a vision of the hereafter. We must mind his warnings and do alterations now, while we still can. Nothing should be of greater importance than the status of our planet. We must larn from the Native Americans, and do it our precedence, or we will certainly kill off our ain species. Now more than of all time, we take everything we perchance can from the Earth. We consume land and resources at an alarmingly barbarous gait, devouring everything in sight with apparently no existent idea given to the effects of our actions. We try to cover every square inch of the Earth with something that serves a human intent, and so we dump what we don & # 8217 ; T want back into the environment. The sum of waste we leave in our aftermath is impossible. Al Gore writes in Earth in the Balance: & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; every individual in the United States produces more than twice his or her weight in waste every day. & # 8221 ; This is amazing, and every individual on the planet ought to be shaken to the nucleus by this intelligence, but still an attitude of indifference prevails. There are those who truly care, but for most, the environmental crisis is a little and unimportant footer on their list of concerns. The environmental state of affairs International Relations and Security Network & # 8217 ; t helped any by the & # 8220 ; I & # 8217 ; m merely one individual, what difference can I do & # 8221 ; attitude of so many. The proper inquiry to inquire is & # 8220 ; What will necessarily go on to the planet if everyone continues to handle it as I do? & # 8221 ; For most, the reply is likely scaring. Cipher is more than one individual, which is why everyone must take part if we are to avoid killing ourselves. In the ever-relevant words of Chief Seattle, & # 8220 ; Continue to pollute your bed, and you will one dark suffocate in your ain waste. & # 8221 ;
Submerging in our ain contaminations is non the lone unfavourable effect of our environmental atrociousnesss. Equally of import and merely every bit relevant as the undesir
able destiny Chief Seattle foresees for us in the hereafter are his observations on the effects of nature, or deficiency of it, on the human spirit. Chief Seattle wrote, “The sight of your metropoliss pains the eyes of the ruddy man.” It seems that human nature leads us to happen nature beautiful and charming, while we find most semisynthetic things much less amazing. That is how Chief Seattle saw things, and I believe that he realized the importance of nature’s impact on the human mind. He understood that a fear for nature is the lone manner that human animate beings can last in this universe. Most worlds, so likely every homo, find joy and peace in a natural scene. Who wouldn’t instead watch a sundown from an stray beach than from a crowded urban pavement? Who wouldn’t prefer to see the stars from a quiet topographic point in the desert instead than from the parking batch of their flat composite? We find profound peace in nature, so much so that we travel 100s of stat mis and pass 1000s of dollars merely to see eyeglassess such as the Sequoia woods or the Grand Canyon. When we must do a specific attempt to seek out nature, that is when things have gone incorrect. The Native Americans lived in nature, non near it. They experienced the soothing and soothing consequence that nature has on all animate beings, including worlds, on a day-to-day footing. It was non a portion of their life, but their full life. As Chief Seattle observed, “There is no quiet topographic point in the white man’s metropoliss. No topographic point to hear the foliages of spring or the rustling of insect’s wings.” Worlds are meant to hear such sounds on a day-to-day footing ; so we need to hear these sounds. They sooth and comfort us, and supply us with a footing on which to link with nature. Without nature, Chief Seattle believed, people are simply lasting, non genuinely populating. He understood that a society populating apart from nature, and without fear for nature, would certainly fall in. As clip base on ballss, the truths of his observations become more and more evident.
Another truth to be found in Chief Seattle & # 8217 ; s observations lies in his position of the natural connexion between the Earth and all her species, a position that he believes the fledglings to his land fail to acknowledge. He is perfectly right: Western society doesn & # 8217 ; t understand the strength of the bond it portions non merely with all species, but besides with the planet itself. Harmonizing to Chief Seattle, & # 8220 ; All things are connected. & # 8221 ; It is insane that Americans fail to acknowledge this, because from our earliest old ages in school we are taught about the nutrient concatenation and the & # 8220 ; nutrient web & # 8221 ; . We & # 8217 ; re shown pyramids and flow charts and diagrams that explain the whole construct of the nutrient concatenation and what mutuality truly means. We learn that when all of the worms die, so so do the birds above them. But we fail to see our topographic point in all that muss. Our instructors did us a great unfairness by non seting a image of a adult male at the top of those pyramids and charts. Western society garbages to see that the same Torahs of nature that govern bird of Joves and Pongo pygmaeuss besides govern human populations. Chief Seattle tells us, & # 8220 ; Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the boies of the earth. & # 8221 ; If we destroy the other links in the concatenation, their destiny will certainly be ours every bit good.
Sadly, a atrocious destiny has already befallen the great Native American folks that one time roamed North America. If merely Western civilization shared their fear for nature, their grasp of the human bond with the Earth, and their involuntariness to destruct the natural universe they lived in ; possibly possibly so we could be saved. But we see the Indians ways as & # 8220 ; savage. & # 8221 ; Chief Seattle, unable to understand why we must destruct nature, and unable to digest the unnatural noises of a metropolis, wrote with heavy irony, & # 8220 ; But possibly because I am a barbarian and make non understand, the clatter merely seems to diss the ears. & # 8221 ; Later, when contemplating the terminal of his manner of life and the Westerners & # 8217 ; & # 8220 ; get downing of survival & # 8221 ; , Chief Seattle says, & # 8220 ; But we are barbarians. The white adult male & # 8217 ; s dreams are hidden from us. & # 8221 ; Ironically, if the dreams of our society & # 8212 ; whatever those may be & # 8212 ; are to be realized, everyone demands to get down acting a small spot like a barbarian.
Chief Seattle & # 8211 ; Letter to President Pierce 1855