Our America is an indigenous America. It is a continent, not a
nation, from Alaska to Chile. It is Turtle Island, Itzachitlan, Abya
Yalla and Pacha Mama. It is a place that gave birth to the sacred
maize, the three sisters and the seven warriors (the plants that form
the basis of indigenous nutrition). It is a place without borders,
where men and women of all races, cultures and religions are equal.
Our America is thousands of years old, and it is the future. It has a
very long history, part of the native intelligence that has made
America, including the United States, what it is today. That history
is connected to the rest of humanity, and to the history of this
planet and universe. It is actually billions of years old. We don't
destroy that history, obfuscate it or build on top of it. We build
Our America is in constant creation, and we all have a part in it. It
is part of this great expanding universe; therefore, it can never
exist in contradiction to creation nor in contradiction to the laws
of the universe. Whenever it strays into a destructive course, we
strive to bring it back into balance, back in sync with the laws of
nature. Whatever we create, we do so from both our hearts and our
minds, never from fear, real or imagined.
Our America is peaceful. It puts out fires; it doesn't set them. We
lead by example. We don't impose our will, values or ideals upon
anyone. We don't invade and destroy nations, kill thousands of
innocents, make them dependent and then declare them liberated. The
desire to live with freedoms and liberties and with peace and dignity
is not a uniquely American ideal. It is the desire of all of
humanity. All human beings have dreams. No one desires to live in
poverty, amid starvation, oppression and hopelessness.
In the world we live in, we cease thinking of America as the center
of the universe. We are not No. 1, nor are we superior or above
anyone. No one is inferior. We are all part of a larger humanity
where our existence depends upon everyone else's existence. That is
why we respect international laws, customs and cultures -- to ensure
a common security and peaceful coexistence.
"In Lak Ech." You are my other self. "Tu eres mi otro yo." If I hurt
you, I hurt myself. If I exploit you, I exploit myself. If I destroy
the environment, I destroy it for everyone. If there is an injustice
anywhere, we all feel it and are compelled to right it.
In the world we would like to live in:
-- All life is sacred, and the lives of all human beings are
valued equally. Here, we are part of a precious balance with all
living things. This is why the Earth is our sacred mother and why we
treat her with the utmost respect.
-- We respectfully look seven generations into the future,
ensuring that we leave behind us a world worth living in, a world in
which future generations will not have to pay our debt.
-- We strive to avoid war whenever possible. We turn to our
elders -- women and men -- for wisdom and guidance, and to the
world's peacemakers to address the world's problems, not to
warmongers. We do so to avoid sending our children off to kill other
people's children, and so we don't have to dehumanize "our enemies"
to be able to better kill them.
-- We don't rely on others to make this world a peaceful
place. Sometimes our leaders fail us. And when they do, it is up to
each one of us to make peace with justice all around us, beginning at
-- We all challenge ourselves to create a world where our
voices matter, where the needs of the poor and working families are
not subordinated to the needs of the rich nor to a war machine that
constantly needs feeding.
Our America is the vision of the world we want to live in. A
world of honesty, where we don't pray to God to make war to then call
it peace. We don't call for freedom and build huge walls of injustice
and intolerance. In our America, we simply wish to be good human
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