Can Tribal Wisdom Help The Oil Spill Clean Up?

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Published on June 15, 2010

What’s the African Perspective?

In 1992 I visited four nations in West Africa: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, and Benin. One thing that struck me was how spiritual the Africans were and how in tune they were to nature. Although they may embrace Christianity or other religions, they don’t abandon their naturalistic beliefs. Africans were resourceful. They learned to make use of plants and trees in their environment for building homes and curing diseases. George Washington Carver, who was of black African descent, invented many things. And what was his secret? He tapped into the wisdom of God, the maker of all things. According to George Washington Carver “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”

George Washington Carver

American Indian Tribes

The American Indians are another group that embraced and honored the earth. The president of the Sioux Tribe is organizing a meeting of the National Congress of American Indians to discuss BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill and its impact. Perhaps they will come up with an enlightened spiritual way to clean up the oil spill or otherwise deal with the environmental crisis the spill has caused. Based on the American Indian traditions, I’m sure they will incorporate tribal wisdom.

Tribal Wisdom of Elders

In tribal cultures the elders are honored. Even if the elder has passed on, homage is still paid. They recognize the wisdom that comes from going to sleep and getting up many days. As the old saying goes “stuff happens”. So the longer we’ve been here on this earth, the more stuff we’ve walked thru and survived. Hopefully us over 50 senior folk have learned from our mistakes. The British Petroleum’s current wisdom is to use the same techniques that were unsuccessful with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill back in the 70s.

Clean Up Oil Spill

We’re all one tribe, one race – the human race. And there is one earth. So, when it comes to environmental issues, we’re all in this together. Perhaps we need to convene a tribe of seniors from all cultures to weigh in on the oil spill clean up.

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