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This Sunday I went out to the river with my friend Almudena for a walk. We like to expose ourselves to cold water from time to time, it recharges us with energy and elevates us.

A word was running through my head, RECIPROCITY. I heard this word from Robin Wall Kimmerer, writer, botanical ecologist, and educator; author of the book 'Braiding Sweetgrass'.

Robin is a descendant of North American aborigines, as well as a scientist, and her great contribution to the world is spreading the relationship between indigenous science and Western science. She looks at reality from multiple angles of knowledge and illuminates Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

She mentions Reciprocity, from her tradition, as the action of returning something to the earth in exchange for what it has given us. The attitude of contemplating what we have received not as an unlimited RESOURCE always available to us but as a GIFT for which we are tremendously grateful .

Stop being CONSUMERS and become GIVERS.

We find Reciprocity inscribed in our genes, especially visible in personal relationships. Giving and receiving must be on a balanced scale.

Giving too much or taking too much, both personally and ecosystemically, is not healthy, it does not benefit either party. We have to find a middle point in the balance.

Robin mentions the three Rs that guide us in this perspective: Restoration, Reciprocity and Respect for all beings.

Instead of looking at the 'damage', look at the cause of the damage and what was damaged.

The Anishinaabe culture calls us to a healing that in the same act heals what has been damaged and the cause of the damage. Healing the relationship that humans have with Nature, leaving aside anthropocentrism and embracing a Multispecies identity, which places us on the same step as other living beings.

Connect with the Earth not as an impersonal and utilitarian other, but as part of our family.

Robin invites us to start with language, using personal pronouns that we would use with our loved ones to refer to natural elements, animals, mountains, and forests.

It is not about humanizing, but about balancing and respecting through words, which are the indispensable link in communication and creation of meanings.

With this new use of language, we can include nature in the law, giving it rights at the same level as humans. Fortunately, there are already projects in different parts of the world addressing this aspect.

Finally, she tells us about 'the Honorable Harvest', which gives us a roadmap as to how to relate to Nature, which I consider would be revolutionary and transformative, if all people followed it:

I feel very grateful to Robin Wall Kimmerer for these reflections, and it is a pleasure to be able to share with you these words that were so inspiring to me.

Have a happy week.


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