In THE POWER OF MYTH by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers (1988), Campbell states that “Chief Seattle was one of the last spokesmen of the Paleolithic moral order. In about 1852, the United States Government inquired about buying the tribal lands for the arriving people of the United States.”
“The President in Washington sends word he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?”
- Chief Seattle
Campbell recites the entire eloquent letter by Chief Seattle, and in 2019, there’s speculation if the letter ever truly existed. However, I feel many of us today, believe in Chief Seattle’s ideals.
Water is life, and living in Negril, Jamaica, I’m reminded by that fact every day. A rain shower passing through is locally known as a little blessing. When learning the Jamaican Government banned single-use plastic bags and styrofoam, I was elated, along with many other people here, especially Rastas, a little blessing as well.
How fresh water is delivered and consumed in today’s brave new world creates concern for every global community. Plastic is today’s convenience, and tomorrow’s pollution.
Solutions, like a reusable water bottles, exist for today’s real world plastic problem, beginning with the decisions we make at the marketplace, and have for thousands of years.
When I was a boy, water was free via drinking fountains, and over time, that availability is drying up. I choose to drink pipe/tap water wherever and whenever I roam. The profitability on water is based on convenience, and corporate conglomerates (such as Nestle’s) own and capitalize with much of today’s fresh water resources.
The father of stoic philosophy — Diogenes the Cynic — lived (412-323 BC) extremely simple in ancient Greece; his living space in the city center of Athens was a large ceramic jar, and his only material item, a wooden bowl for food and water. When he saw a peasant boy use only his hands to drink water, Diogenes thought of himself as a fool for carrying such baggage!
Some corporations choose to save pennies by putting their products in plastic, but in reality, saving the planet begins with people like us, choosing, and aligning, with plastic alternatives - there isn’t a Planet B.
I think of Chief Seattle and Diogenes when drinking free, fresh water in an Eco Water Bottle because it helps prevent feeding the seas more plastic, especially when considering the plethora already existing in giant patches within our oceans. When society treats Mother Nature with respect, she’ll nourish us in ways almost impossible to imagine.
I prefer offering the bread from my hand to feed the fish, as the seas provide life for us all. The collective decisions we make today help build an environmentally friendly tomorrow, and the opportunity for future human generations to exist - Mother Nature ultimately decides, and I for one, choose to live by being in her good graces!