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Top 120 Robin Wall Kimmerer Quotes (2023 Update)
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Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “How, in our modern world, can we find our way to understand the earth as a gift again, to make our relations with the world sacred again?”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Ceremony focuses attention so that attention becomes intention. If you stand together and profess a thing before your community, it holds you accountable. Ceremonies transcend the boundaries of the individual and resonate beyond the human realm. These acts of reverence are powerfully pragmatic. These are ceremonies that magnify life.”
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: “Restoring land without restoring relationship is an empty exercise. It is relationship that will endure and relationship that will sustain the restored land.”
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 Honorable Harvest asks us to give back, in reciprocity, for what we have been given. Reciprocity helps resolve the moral tension of taking a life by giving in return something of value that sustains the ones who sustain us. One of our responsibilities as human people is to find ways to enter into reciprocity with the more-than-human world. We can do it through gratitude, through ceremony, through land stewardship, science, art, and in everyday acts of practical reverence.”
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: “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: “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: “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: “Maybe there is no such thing as rain; there are only raindrops, each with its own story.”
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: “I close my eyes and listen to the voices of the rain.”
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: “Names are the way we humans build relationship, not only with each other but with the living world.”
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: “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: “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: “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: “Our toddlers speak of plants and animals as if they were people, extending to them self and intention and compassion – until we teach them not to.”
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: “The word ecology is derived from the Greek oikos, the word for home.”
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: “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: “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: “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: “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.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “That is the fundamental nature of gifts: they move, and their value increases with their passage.”
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: “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: “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: “Wealth among traditional people is measured by having enough to give away.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Suppression of our natural responses to disaster is part of the disease of our time.”
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: “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. Gifts exist in a realm of humility and mystery – as with random acts of kindness, we do not know their source.”
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: “The combination of circumstances which allows it to exist at all are so implausible that Schistostega is rendered much more precious than gold... It’s life, and ours, exist only because of a myriad of synchronicities that bring us to this particular place at this particular moment. In return for such a gift, the only sane response is to glitter in reply.”
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: “If you don’t give it respect it will leave us.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Only with severe need did the hyphae curl around the alga; only when the alga was stressed did it welcome the advances. When times are easy and there’s plenty to go around, individual species can go it alone. But when conditions are harsh and life is tenuous, it takes a team sworn to reciprocity to keep life going forward.”
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: “The most important thing each of us can know is our unique gift and how to use it in the world. Individuality is cherished and nurtured, because, in order for the whole to flourish, each of us has to be strong in who we are and carry our gifts with conviction, so they can be shared with others.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “But the world has a way of guiding your steps.”
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: “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. I came to understand quite sharply when I began my training as a scientist that science privileges only one, possibly two, of those ways of knowing: mind and body. As a young person wanting to know everything about plants, I did not question this. But it is a whole human being who finds the beautiful path.”
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: “Same species, same earth, different stories. Like Creation stories everywhere, cosmologies are a source of identity and orientation to the world. They tell us who we are. We are inevitably shaped by them no matter how distant they may be from our consciousness.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “To be native to a place we must learn to speak its language.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Something is broken when the food comes on a Styrofoam tray wrapped in slippery plastic, a carcass of a being whose only chance at life was a cramped cage. That is not a gift of life; it is a theft.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “I remember the words of Bill Tall Bull, a Cheyenne elder. As a young person, I spoke to him with a heavy heart, lamenting that I had no native language with which to speak to the plants and the places that I love. “They love to hear the old language,” he said, “it’s true.” “But,” he said, with fingers on his lips, “You don’t have to speak it here.” “If you speak it here,” he said, patting his chest, “They will hear you.”
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