Values become actions. Too many of our actions are killing our planet, our communities, and our spirit. Our actions are killing our loved ones. We are diminishing the future for everyone and everything.
Particular values form the basis of our survival. When practiced, they help us live in reciprocity with nature and with each other. We are the relationships we share, and we are permeable – physically, emotionally, spiritually – to our surroundings. Therefore, we hold these values as essential:
- Gratitude – because our lives depend on air, water, soil, plants, humans, and other animals;
- Empathy – because we are connected with all of creation;
- Sympathy – because we all experience suffering and death, both necessarily in the course of life and unnecessarily when these values are not practiced;
- Compassion – because it moves us to attend to suffering and injustice; and
- Humility – because we cannot know all of the consequences of our actions.
We belong to the community of the Earth. It is the source of our own life, and our actions affect its well-being. Therefore, we practice:
- Respect – because it is fundamental to good relationships;
- Restraint – because the Earth is finite, and we must honor its limits;
- Simplicity – because we are only one species sharing Earth with many others; and
- Humor – because life is good, and humor disrobes tyranny and absurdity.
Human beings need sustaining social and natural environments. No one by law or habit is entitled to rob others or future generations of a diverse world vibrant with hope and possibilities. We have an obligation to restore social and ecological fabrics that have been torn by violence or exploitation.
We affirm that all being is sacred and has intrinsic value that is not monetary.
People who hold these values outnumber those who do not. We draw strength from each other. As we abandon harmful activities, we take nature as our guide. We explicitly consider the effects of actions on individuals, families, communities, species, landscapes, regions, and future generations.
It is through love for the particular – a child, a neighborhood, a family of otters, a meandering river – that we find our way to a sustaining relationship with the Earth and our communities.
Blue Mountain Center, Blue Mountain Lake, NY, November 12, 2000
Blue Mountain Participants
|Andy Jameton||Omaha, Nebraska|
|Bill Vitek||Potsdam, New York|
|Bruce McKay||Montreal, Quebec|
|Carolyn Raffensperger||Windsor, North Dakota|
|Craig Holdrege||Ghent, New York|
|David Abram||Victor, Idaho|
|Derrick Jensen||Crescent City, California|
|Fred Kirschenmann||Ames, Iowa|
|Harriet Barlow||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Jennifer Sahn||Great Barrington, Massachusetts|
|Katherine Barrett||Victoria, British Columbia|
|Maria Pellerano||Annapolis, Maryland|
|Marianne Spitzform||Missoula, Montana|
|Mary O’Brien||Eugene, Oregon|
|Mark Ritchie||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Nancy J. Myers||Oak Park, Illinois|
|Peter deFur||Richmond, Virginia|
|Peter Montague||Annapolis, Maryland|
|Peter Sauer||Salem, New York|
|Steve Light||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Ted Schettler||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Tracey Easthope||Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|Wes Jackson||Salina, Kansas|