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Our Language of Relationship with Earth

 “It is the theory which decides what we can observe.” ~Albert Einstein Language is powerful. Words form concepts which, in turn, determine how we view, and treat, both people and planet. We are so accustomed to thinking of one another, and Mother Earth, according to their utility or purpose that we easily fail to grasp how sacred life is. For example, when we meet someone new we are likely to ask them what they do for a living, rather than to meet someone and value them for simply being themselves. What would life be like if we instead asked who they are, what interests them, animates them, inspires them? Our language similarly turns Mother Earth into a thing. We call her “the” planet, and the cradle of our existence becomes “the” environment. Ergo, i f “the planet” is a “thing” then there is seemingly no harm in using and abusing “it.” Contrast this with an Indigenous perspective, namely that Mother Earth is a living being with whom we are in relationship, and to whom we owe ou