Welcome to the Ecological Commonwealth of Earthlandia!
The Earth is an island
in the vast ocean of interstellar space.
How will we care for our beautiful island?
How will we care for one another?
Introduction to the Earthlandia! Thought Experiment — by Dennis Rivers, MA, Editor
Earthlandia! is a virtual country in the ocean of our minds devoted to exploring more sustainable and compassionate ways of both living on the Earth and living with one another. Our vision is to create a sheltering mental space where people can explore how to become better citizens of the Web of Life. Earthlandia! is a creative exercise in both thinking and feeling outside three major current thought boxes: person as consumer only, citizen of only one country, and life as perpetual warfare, forms of thinking and acting that are ascendant in the world today, are making us miserable, and are killing the planet.
The first steps toward changing our course, in my view, are acts of creative hope, imagination and memory: to imagine, and also to remember, ways in which we could build a world differently from the very unhappy way that we are currently building the world together each day. Those readers familiar with narrative therapy, appreciative inquiry, positive deviance and various schools of creative thinking will recognize that the Earthlandia! Thought Experiment is an effort to mobilize the resources of all of these and apply those resources to our quest to live in harmony with one another and the natural world. One element common to all these approaches is that they search for forgotten success stories that could be resources for new beginnings.
Adapted from the World Unity Flag — design by Diana Lindley, Canada
Agreements, Understandings, Skills and Hopes. Every actual country consists not only of its physical territory, but also
- the agreements people share about how to live, how to care for one another, and how to care for the land on which they are guests,
- the skills people have for cooperating together to reach shared goals, for team building, for resolving conflicts, for interpersonal communication, for raising happy children,
- the understandings that people have about the natural world, our place in it, and the dimensions of personal unfolding that are part of being human, and
- the horizons of hope that call people forward on their life journeys, and that allow people to imagine world at peace and a good life for their children and grandchildren.
These agreements, understandings, skills and hopes are not pieces of land, nor are they physical objects that can be located in space. They exist in some sort of “mental space” not so different from cyberspace. Thus, every actual country is partly mental/virtual. Earthlandia! is a virtual country in heart-and-mind-space, in which people (we) can clarify the kind of world we would like to nurture, and the kind of people we would like to become.
Enormous quantities of inspiring work have already been done on the topic of Earth citizenship. Such as:
- The Earth Charter
- The Charter for Compassion
- The Geneva Conventions and related treaties in International Humanitarian Law
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- The movement for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
- and many more…
And there is also a growing world of information available about communication skills and conflict resolution. Such as:
- The New Conversations Initiative
- The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
- The Compassionate Listening Project
- The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University
- Nonviolence International
Big ideas need small groups The challenge before us is to turn these noble documents and empowering insights into millions of little study-and-action groups, several for every city and village council on planet Earth, to be guided not by directives from a faraway headquarters, but by every participant’s growing knowledge of ancient and modern ecological wisdom.
Right now, human beings are not doing so well in relation to the Web of Life and Mother Earth. To give just one of many possible examples, we are filling the oceans of the planet with trash and poisons, while fishing various species of fish to the point of extinction with industrial fishing methods. I am convinced that the people who are wiping out the oceans of Planet Earth, including, to some degree, you and me, feel themselves to be citizens of a particular country but not necessarily to be citizens of the Community of Living Creatures. Thus, the mission of the Earthlandia! Community is to
- encourage and support people to expand their sense of belonging to the Community of Living Creatures
- recognize, honor and celebrate eco-heroes and ecological initiatives
- catalog and popularize green alternatives for both daily living and global devleopment
- encourage the evolution of small study-support-advocacy-action groups of people embracing their role as citizens of the Web of Life
How to participate in an expanding circle of earth citizens. We invite you to become a co-founder of Earthlandia! in several ways:
- Starting a pot-luck, ecological study and action group in your living room. There are many issues to work on as we grow into being citizens of the web of life: the oceans of the world, nuclear weapons/power/waste, pesticides, factory farming, social inequality and its ecological implications; and on the positive side: urban gardening, the return of municipal electric utilities, green jobs, smart growth and many more. We suggest that you choose an issue you feel deeply connected to, and start a study group in your community on that issue. If people are already working on that issue, please consider finding ways that your study group might give support to those people, while still staying together as a mutual support group. Share with the Earthlandia! community progress reports of your learning experiences, and help develop a resource page for that issue.
- Design a new FLAG FOR ALL CREATURES, to become part of our Gallery of Earth Flags.
- Write or submit a Declaration of Interdependence, to become part of our Gallery of Declarations
- Compose, perform, record and share an Earth Anthem and/or A Song for All Creatures. (See our Songs page.)
- Read any of the wonderful books listed on this site, and share with the Earthlandia! community progress reports of your learning experiences. Suggest new books by using our Contact page.
Using the breath as a model, one might say that Earthlandia! represents the out-breathing of care for Mother Earth and all her creatures. Earthlandia!’s sister site, www.Companions-in-Blessing.org, represents the in-breathing, and explores belonging to the Web of Life as a spiritual path that may include various practices of meditation, blessing, prayer, gratitude, deep friendship, walking in beauty, and personal unfolding. We invite you to explore both dimensions.
Earth Citizen Pledge
I pledge allegiance to the Earth
and to its varied life forms;
one world, indivisible,
with liberty, justice and dignity
By David Krieger, President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude