By: Sonia Molodecky
A Life Economy, as many Elders have coined it, is one where we strive to maintain and enhance this natural balance of life systems throughout development. By working to enhance life, we operate from the heart-center, where natural law dictates abundance not scarcity, love not fear, unity not separation. We begin to see the oneness of all of creation and the sheer beauty and awe in that truth. We foster a Life Economy by working with the land, and through consideration and valuing of the whole. This can be contrasted with what John Perkins terms the “Death Economy”, where we exploit rather than enhance, destroy rather than support life-affirming ways. When we change our perception to begin to look at the value of life, we begin to create a reality that reflects that vision.
All life has value – from mineralized rocks to oceans to tiny microbes to the roots of trees. It is the circle of life that we are a part of. A moose may give its life to nourish us. When we die, our bodies go into the ground and a tree may grow to form part of another’s habitat. The movement to a Life Economy is a natural evolution born out of the knowledge that there is no separation between us and the natural world. All is life and we are all part of the natural order of things. For life to thrive, we must begin to value life. In this way, we begin to truly value ourselves.
What if we considered the forests and the rich soils as holding greater value intact – as life givers – of oxygen and nutritious food? What if we valued the moose calving and fish spawning areas as key components of a life system? What if we strove to work with our life system, adding to it and making it better, creating greater abundance for all, through the decisions that we make? When we begin to value aspects of a healthy ecosystem, we incentivize the creation of those aspects, for as a society we produce more of what we value.
In order to promote a true partnership with our nature world, we must start to see the value in the gifts that Mother Earth provides. Science has given us a deep understanding of the complex relationships that exist within life systems, something that Indigenous people have long understood. Using technologies like drones, satellites and IoT, we can measure and monitor our planet like never before and using modern methods of accounting and integrated statistics we can begin to account for the value that lies in thriving ecosystems. When we can truly value what the natural world provides, we will innovate ways to ally with it. Rather than clear-cutting a forest and replanting it with monocrop trees, we work with the land and implement forest management systems that are conducive to the enhancement of life. When life thrives, we thrive. When we align with natural law and natural rhythms, abundance is available to us all.
You can read more about John Perkins Life vs. Death Economy here: https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2020/09/16/pandemic-capitalism-life-economy