Top 100

Top 200 Robin Wall Kimmerer Quotes (2023 Update)
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Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “But isn’t play the way we get limbered up for the work of the world?”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Your own fire, your spirit. We all carry a piece of that sacred fire within us. We have to honour it and care for it. You are the fire keeper.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “A language teacher I know explained that grammar is just the way we chart relationships in language. Maybe it also reflects our relationships with each other. 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: “That September pairing of purple and gold is lived reciprocity; its wisdom is that the beauty of one is illuminated by the radiance of the other.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “If you didn’t know better, you might not recognize raindrops and rivers as kin, so different are the particular and the collective.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “How do we show our children our love? Each in our own way by a shower of gifts and a heavy rain of lessons.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The job is never over; it simply changes from one task to the next. What I’m looking for, I suppose, is balance, and that is a moving target. 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: “I like to imagine that they were the first flowers I saw, over my mother’s shoulder, as the pink blanket slipped away from my face and their colors flooded my consciousness. I’ve heard that early experience can attune the brain to certain stimuli, so that they are processed with greater speed and certainty, so that they can be used again and again, so that we remember. Love at first sight.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Cresting the ridge releases me into an explosion of light and space and wind.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The trees act not as individuals, but somehow as a collective. Exactly how they do this, we don’t yet know. But what we see is the power of unity.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “For what good is knowing, unless it is coupled with caring? Science can give us knowing, but caring comes from someplace else.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “We need to unearth the old stories that live in a place and begin to create new ones, for we are storymakers, not just storytellers.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Our teacher, Justin Neely, a young man devoted to language revival, explains that while there are several words for thank you, there is no word for please. Food was meant to be shared, no added politeness needed; it was simply a cultural given that one was asking respectfully. The missionaries took this absence as further evidence of crude manners.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Ignorance makes it too easy to jump to conclusions.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “I smile when I hear my colleagues say “I discovered X.” That’s kind of like Columbus claiming to have discovered America. It was here all along, it’s just that he didn’t know it. Experiments are not about discovery but about listening and translating the knowledge of other beings.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The storytellers begin by calling upon those who came before who passed the stories down to us, for we are only messengers.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “It is the cardinal difference between gift and commodity exchange that a gift establishes a feeling-bond between two people.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The consumption-driven mind-set masquerades as “qualify of life” but eats us from within... But Governments still cling to the neoclassical fallacy that human consumption has no consequences.”
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: “Plants know how to make food and medicine from light and water, and then they give it away.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Both were women with feet planted deep in the earth, who took pride in a back strong enough to carry a load for others.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “To destroy a wild thing for pride seems a potent act of domination.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The good Lord gave us witch hazel to remind us that there’s always somethin’ good even when it seems like there ain’t. It just lightens your heavy heart, is what it does.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “We are deluged by information regarding our destruction of the world and hear almost nothing about how to nurture it. It is no surprise then that environmentalism becomes synonymous with dire predictions and powerless feelings. Our natural inclination to do right by the world is stifled, breeding despair when it should be inspiring action.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “With words at your disposal, you can see more clearly. Finding the words is another step in learning to see.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Many of our ancient teachings counsel that whatever we have been given is supposed to be given away again.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Their dad had just pulled up stakes, left the country – and us. He said that he no longer wanted a life with so much responsibility, so the responsibility was all mine.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The roots may spread out like a map, but a map only helps if you know where you want to go.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “His teachings remind us that one half of the truth is that the earth endows us with great gifts, the other half is that the gift is not enough. The responsibility does not lie with the maples alone. The other half belongs to us; we participate in its transformation. It is our work, and our gratitude, that distills the sweetness.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “We have enjoyed the feast generously laid out for us by Mother Earth, but now the plates are empty and the dining room is a mess. It’s time we started doing the dishes in Mother Earth’s kitchen. Doing dishes has gotten a bad rap, but everyone who migrates to the kitchen after a meal knows that that’s where the laughter happens, the good conversations, the friendships. Doing dishes, like doing restoration, forms friendships.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Imagine raising children in a culture in which gratitude is the first priority.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “A harvest is made honorable when it sustains the giver as well as the taker.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Linked by sweetgrass, there is reciprocity between you, linked by sweetgrass, the holder as vital as the braider.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “It is not just changes in policies that we need, but also changes to the heart. Scarcity and plenty are as much qualities of the mind and spirit as they are of the economy. Gratitude plants the seed for abundance.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Biologists may make unsuitable dinner conversation, but we are seldom bored.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “As it grew closer, they could see that it was a woman arms outstretched, long black hair billowing behind as she spiralled toward them.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The still air smelled of sweetgrass hanging from the rafters. What words can capture that smell? The fragrance of your mother’s newly washed hair as she holds you close, the melancholy smell of summer slipping into fall, the smell of memory that makes you close your eyes for a moment, and then a moment longer.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Mosses are so little known by the general public that only a few have been given common names. Most are known solely by their scientific Latin names, a fact which discourages most people from attempting to identify them. But I like the scientific names, because they are as beautiful and intricate as the plants they name. Indulge yourself in the words, rhythmic and musical, rolling off your tongue: Dolicathecia striatella, Thuidium delicatulum, Barbula fallax.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “But I think I cannot own a thing and love it at the same time. Owning diminishes the innate sovereignty of a thing, enriching the possessor and reducing the possessed. – Barbara Kingsolver writes, ‘It’s going to take the most selfless kind of love to do right by what we cherish and give it the protection to flourish outside our possessive embrace’.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “When botanists go walking the forests and fields looking for plants, we say we are going on a foray. When writers do the same, we should call it a metaphoray, and the land is rich in both. We need them both; scientist and poet Jeffrey Burton Russell writes that “as the sign of a deeper truth, metaphor was close to sacrament. Because the vastness and richness cannot be expressed by the overt sense of a statement alone.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Here you will give your gifts and meet your responsibilities.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “So I offer, in its place, a braid of stories meant to heal our relationship with the world.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “We’ve allowed the “market” to define what we value so that the redefined common good seems to depend on profligate lifestyles that enrich the sellers while impoverishing the soul and the earth.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Most spores can’t germinate in the leafy carpet of their own parents.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Despair is paralysis. It robs us of agency. It blinds us to our own power and the power of the earth.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Cautionary stories of the consequences of taking too much are ubiquitous in Native cultures, but it’s hard to recall a single one in English. Perhaps this helps to explain why we seem to be caught in a trap of overconsumption, which is as destructive to ourselves as to those we consume.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Listening, standing witness, creates an openness to the world in which the boundaries between us can dissolve in a raindrop.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “And, while expressing gratitude seems innocent enough, it is a revolutionary idea. In a consumer society, contentment is a radical proposition. Recognizing abundance rather than scarcity undermines an economy that thrives by creating unmet desires. Gratitude cultivates an ethic of fullness, but the economy needs emptiness.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “People understood that when lives are given on their behalf they have received something precious. Ceremonies are a way to give something precious in return.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Paying attention acknowledges that we have something to learn from intelligences other than our own. Listening, standing witness, creates an openness to the world in which the boundaries between us can dissolve in a raindrop.”
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