Martin Luther King, Jr: all life is interrelated

Here’s yet another prescient reminder from MLK, this from his  1965 Oberlin Commencement address (“Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”):

“All I’m saying is simply this: that all mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated, and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of identity. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what I ought to be until I am what I ought to be – this is the interrelated structure of reality.” 

Every single issue you can think of — global pandemic, ecological collapse, mass incarceration, wealth inequality, etc. — is addressed in that statement. ALL life is interrelated. And yet, here we are, still madly dancing to capitalism-a-go-go.

“from her heart grows a tree”

This post is inspired by Melanie at the blog The Nature-Led Life (shout-out to Mark at Naturalist Weekly for putting this cool experiment on my radar). While Melanie was reading The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge by Manuel Lima, the phrase “from her heart grows a tree” came to her. Melanie wrote about it on her blog (that post is “the trunk”) and invited others to contribute “branches” by posting on our blogs something that includes “from her heart grows a tree” (Melanie hopes to make a visual tree of all contributions and the deadline to contribute is Aug 2, midnight PST)

This is my “branch.”

Uncompahgre National Forest. July 28, 2019

I remember standing in these aspens two years ago, my heart expanding as I gazed up, up, up at this tree reaching for the blue sky. However, aspens are not only magnificent above ground, but also below, because groups of aspen share a root system. A system one might imagine as an enormous “beating heart” below ground.

“From her heart grows a tree.”

Her heart connecting with mine.