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  • benjaminnewman01

Mod. 2.2 - Ritual of Regard; Western Change Frameworks

This week, I invite you to reflect on the following prompts by whatever creative means inspire you:

  • How do you regard the Natural world? What are the rituals by which you do so?

  • How does Western culture influence your relationship with Nature?

  • To what extent does this perspective inform your understanding of and approach to transformational change?

 

I’ve struggled with my relationship with the natural world for most of my life, because I didn’t view it as a relationship I needed to regard or be in relationship with. I had unfortunate experiences as a child at camp that led me to spend more time indoors and since then, it’s been hard to change that habit. Today, I’ve tried to change that by intentionally spending more time outside, learning more about nature and how it has evolved over time, and supporting environmental efforts through advocacy, voting, and recycling. I also defend my friends and family members who invest in their pets’ lives and their relationships with them in a way that honors or for lack of a better term “humanizes” them.


Western culture and my family upbringing imbued “The Dominion Mandate” into my brain. While I never saw any direct application of the principle as a child, strict adherence to a Biblical worldview allowed me to ignore science until the pandemic. I’m not proud of that fact, but it’s true. Since then, I’ve learned so much and truly grown in understanding more about Nature and I am excited to invest more energy in the areas of nature I previously disregarded.

Where I’ve come to now is a greater articulation of a previously held personal value to “Advocate and fight for the marginalized.” While historically that effort was focused on civil, human, and LGBTQ rights, I am starting to open myself up to and understand more deeply where that effort needs to also extend to my relationship with nature. Beyond “green efforts” and supporting the environment, I’m learning that while my advocacy for human rights was rooted in the personal realm, my growing advocacy for Nature offers a larger framework for transformational change by fighting for Indigenous people’s rights, fair treatment of animals, cultivating personal and professional practices that honor the planet, and modeling those practices daily.

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