Top 100

Top 200 Robin Wall Kimmerer Quotes (2024 Update)
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Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “I wonder if much that ails our society stems from the fact that we have allowed ourselves to be cut off from that love of, and from, the land. It is medicine for broken land and empty hearts.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The most important thing each of us can know is our unique gift and how to use it in the world.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The word ecology is derived from the Greek oikos, the word for home.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Doing science with awe and humility is a powerful act of reciprocity with the more-than-human world.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “What is the source of this pattern? Why is the world so beautiful? It could so easily be otherwise: flowers could be ugly to us and still fulfill their own purpose. But they’re not.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “A Cheyenne elder of my acquaintance once told me that the best way to find something is not to go looking for it.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “It is understood that these gifts have a dual nature, though: a gift is also a responsibility.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “From the viewpoint of a private property economy, the “gift” is deemed to be “free” because we obtain it free of charge, at no cost. But in the gift economy, gifts are not free. The essence of the gift is that it creates a set of relationships. The currency of a gift economy is, at its root, reciprocity. In Western thinking, private land is understood to be a “bundle of rights,” whereas in a gift economy property has a “bundle of responsibilities” attached.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Sometimes I wish I could photosynthesize so that just by being, just by shimmering at the meadow’s edge or floating lazily on a pond, I could be doing the work of the world while standing silent in the sun.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “As Gary Nabhan has written, we can’t meaningfully proceed with healing, with restoration, without “re-story-ation.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The currency of a gift economy is, at its root, reciprocity. In Western thinking, private land is understood to be a “bundle of rights,” whereas in a gift economy property has a “bundle of responsibilities” attached.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Strawberries first shaped my view of a world full of gifts simply scattered at your feet. A gift comes to you through no action of your own, free, having moved toward you without your beckoning. It is not a reward; you cannot earn it, or call it to you, or even deserve it. And yet it appears. Your only role is to be open-eyed and present.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “What would it be like to be raised on gratitude, to speak to the natural world as a member of the democracy of species, to raise a pledge of interdependence? No declarations of political loyalty are required, just a response to a repeated question: “Can we agree to be grateful for all that is given?”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “How generously they shower us with food, literally giving themselves so that we can live. But in the giving their lives are also ensured. Our taking returns benefit to them in the circle of life making life, the chain of reciprocity. Living by the precepts of the Honorable Harvest – to take only what is given, to use it well, to be grateful for the gift, and to reciprocate the gift.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Maybe a grammar of animacy could lead us to whole new ways of living in the world, other species a sovereign people, a world with a democracy of species, not a tyranny of one – with moral responsibility to water and wolves, and with a legal system that recognizes the standing of other species. It’s all in the pronouns.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “In a consumer society, contentment is a radical proposition. Recognizing abundance rather than scarcity undermines an economy that.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Balance is not a passive resting place – it takes work, balancing the giving and the taking, the raking out and the putting in.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “For in the popular way of thinking, history draws a time “line,” as if time marched in lockstep in only one direction. Some people say that time is a river into which we can step but once, as it flows in a straight path to the sea. But Nanabozho’s people know time as a circle. Time is not a river running inexorably to the sea, but the sea itself – its tides that appear and disappear, the fog that rises to become rain in a different river. All things that were will come again.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Gifts from the earth or from each other establish a particular relationship, an obligation of sorts to give, to receive, and to reciprocate.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Names are the way we humans build relationship, not only with each other but with the living world.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Native scholar Greg Cajete has written that in indigenous ways of knowing, we understand a thing only when we understand it with all four aspects of our being: mind, body, emotion, and spirit.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Old-growth cultures, like old-growth forests, have not been exterminated. The land holds their memory and the possibility of regeneration. They are not only a matter of ethnicity or history, but of relationships born out of reciprocity between land and people.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Maybe there is no such thing as rain; there are only raindrops, each with its own story.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Our stories say that of all the plants, wiingaashk, or sweetgrass, was the very first to grow on the earth, its fragrance a sweet memory of Skywoman’s hand. Accordingly, it is honored as one of the four sacred plants of my people. Breathe in its scent and you start to remember things you didn’t know you’d forgotten. Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we “remember to remember.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “There is such tenderness in braiding the hair of someone you love. Kindness and something more flow between the braider and the braided, the two connected by the cord of the plait.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Never take the first plant you find, as it might be the last – and you want that first one to speak well of you to the others of her kind.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The very earth that sustains us is being destroyed to fuel injustice. An economy that grants personhood to corporations but denies it to the more-than-human beings.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “But the world is still unpredictable and still we survive by the grace of chance and the strength of our choices.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The arrogance of English is that the only way to be animate, to be worthy of respect and moral concern, is to be a human.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “There is an ancient conversation going on between mosses and rocks, poetry to be sure. About light and shadow and the drift of continents. This is what has been called the “dialect of moss on stone – an interface of immensity and minute ness, of past and present, softness and hardness, stillness and vibrancy, yin and yan.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Wait a second,” he said as he wrapped his mind around this linguistic distinction, “doesn’t this mean that speaking English, thinking in English, somehow gives us permission to disrespect nature? By denying everyone else the right to be persons? Wouldn’t things be different if nothing was an it?”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “It is the fundamental unfairness of parenthood, that if we do our jobs well, the deepest bond we are given will walk out the door with a wave over the shoulder.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The creek that was once a fishery for Atlantic salmon, a swimming hole for kids, and a focal point of community life now runs as brown as chocolate milk. Allied Chemical and its successors deny any role in the formation of the mudboils. They claim it was an act of God. What kind of God would that be?”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Plants are also integral to reweaving the connection between land and people. A place becomes a home when it sustains you, when it feeds you in body as well as spirit. To recreate a home, the plants must also return.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “I close my eyes and listen to the voices of the rain.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “What happens to nationalism, to political boundaries, when allegiance lies with winds and waters that know no boundaries, that cannot be bought or sold?”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Weep! Weep!” calls a toad from the water’s edge. And I do. If grief can be a doorway to love, then let us all weep for the world we are breaking apart so we can love it back to wholeness again.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “To become naturalized is to live as if your children’s future matters, to take care of the land as if our lives and the lives of all our relatives depend on it. Because they do.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “A bay is a noun only if water is dead. When bay is a noun, it is defined by humans, trapped between its shores and contained by the word. But the verb wiikwegamaa – to be a bay – releases the water from bondage and lets it live.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Language is the dwelling place of ideas that do not exist anywhere else. It is a prism through which to see the world.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The exchange between plants and people has shaped the evolutionary history of both. Farms, orchards, and vineyards are stocked with species we have domesticated. Our appetite for their fruits leads us to till, prune, irrigate, fertilize, and weed on their behalf. Perhaps they have domesticated us. Wild plants have changed to stand in well-behaved rows and wild humans have changed to settle alongside the fields and care for the plants – a kind of mutual taming.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “A species and a culture that treat the natural world with respect and reciprocity will surely pass on genes to ensuing generations with a higher frequency than the people who destroy it. The stories we choose to shape our behaviors have adaptive consequences.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Midway between land and water, freshwater marshes are among the most highly productive ecosystems on earth, rivaling the tropical rainforest.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Time can vanish in exploring these places, like wandering through an art gallery of unexpected forms and colors. Sometimes, I look up from my microscope at the end of an hour, and I’m taken aback at the plainness of the ordinary world, the drab and predictable shapes.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “That is the fundamental nature of gifts: they move, and their value increases with their passage.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “As I grew to understand the gifts of the earth, I couldn’t understand how “love of country” could omit recognition of the actual country itself. The only promise it requires is to a flag. What of the promises to each other and to the land?”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “To be heard, you must speak the language of the one you want to listen.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Suppression of our natural responses to disaster is part of the disease of our time.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “But I think we are called to go beyond cultures of gratitude, to once again become cultures of reciprocity.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “People can take too much and exceed the capacity of the plants to share again. That’s the voice of hard experience that resonates in the teachings of “never take more than half.” And yet, they also teach that we can take too little. If we allow traditions to die, relationships to fade, the land will suffer.”
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