The Earth does not belong to man!

I was once visiting Paul Cheoketen Wagner‘s house to listen to him play live Native American flute.

I have to say that Native Americans always fascinate me with their connection to Mother Earth and the Spirit World. Anyway, on my way out after the event, I saw those beautiful words of wisdom framed on the wall:

chief-seattle-1The Earth doesn’t belong to man.
Man belongs to the Earth.
All things are connected like the blood that unites one family.
All things are connected.
What ever befalls the Earth, befalls the sons of the Earth.
Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web he also does to himself.

Chief Seattle, 1854

Here’s the original quote as it was posted on the wall:
the earth does not belong to man

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I Think I Could Turn And Live With Animals… – By Walt Whitman

I think I could turn and live with animals,
they are so placid and self-contain’d,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession.

I wonder where they get those tokens,
Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?

Myself moving forward then and now and forever,
Gathering and showing more always and with velocity,
Infinite and omnigenous, and the like of these among them,
Not too exclusive toward the reachers of my remembrancers,
Picking out here one that I love, and now go with him on brotherly terms.

A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses,
Head high in the forehead, wide between the ears,
Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground,
Eyes full of sparkling wickedness, ears finely cut, flexibly moving.

His nostrils dilate as my heels embrace him,
His well-built limbs tremble with pleasure as we race around and return.

I but use you a minute, then I resign you, stallion,
Why do I need your paces when I myself out-gallop them?
Even as I stand or sit passing faster than you.

By Walt Whitman from Song of Myself