听力原文
Note-taking Gap-filling
     

I’m Diana Winston, a Cherokee medicine priest. I’d like to say something about the Cherokee beliefs regarding the environment and conservation. Basically Cherokee tradition tells us we are part of the nature and we depend on nature for our life. So we don’t compete with it and we are not trying to tame it. We are trying to live with it. It’s different from our contemporary view that nature exists for the benefit of people. We believe that we are part of what we call great life. And as part of the great life, we are as important as everything else, but certainly no more important than anything else. And we feel that within the great life, there are what we call the laws of nature. We believe that there are many laws of nature. But there are three great laws of nature. And those are the laws that tell us how we have to live in harmony with everything else.

The first law of nature is that you don’t take any life without a real reason. And a real reason would be for food, for medicine, for protection. Those would be the reasons for taking life. But basically life is sacred. So we shouldn’t kill needlessly. That would absolutely include plants. We believe everything is alive. In fact, we believe stones are alive, trees are alive, plants are alive, animals are obviously alive. And so to us, taking the life of a plant is just as a grave responsibility as taking the life of an animal. And all of those things should be done in a sacred way and in a good way. So for instance, when you go to gather a plant, you don’t want to go and say, “wow, here’s a whole patch of plants.” And go and gather them all. You gather a few and then you gather a few from another spot, leaving the majority of the plants so that they can grow and continue to provide not only for themselves but for us and for our children and for their children.

The second law is that everything we do should serve the great life. Well, what we mean is that we believe that there is one spirit that fills all things: humans, plants, rocks, whatever. And the some and all of that and more is what we call the great life. And so we all are a part of the same great life. And everything we do affects the great life. And everything that happens within the great life affects us. So it’s very very important that within the second law of nature that what we do will not harm other parts of the great life. Well, I could give a lot of examples and on a very personal simple level. An example could be for instance. Lots of people might go out and get an electric toothbrush. Uh, maybe it works a little bit better. It certainly easier: the toothbrush does all the work for you. But I have a manual toothbrush and I’ve used one for my whole life. And it works just fine. To use the electricity necessary to power that electric toothbrush requires coal or nuclear power that harms the air. It harms the water. It harms the great life.

The third law basically is that we don’ t pollute where we live. And where we live is not just our home. It’s not just our intimate small community. It’s not just our country. It’s this planet. This sacred altar we call the earth. We don’t pool chemical waste down the stream because they all wind up in the water. So basically we don’t pollute the earth.

Well, it might seem a little difficult to live by those three laws today in this industrialized society. But the Cherokee didn’t have a problem with plastic. We didn’t have plastic. We didn’t have a lot of the things that exist today. We still have a lot of options. There are small things that each of us can do. Things like recycling. Things like choosing what we buy and buying things carefully. There are other things we can do. Instead of using the car for every short trip to the store, save them up so we use the car as little as possible. We can do things like organic gardening. We can do things to create greater community within our communities. There are a lot of things that we can do to bring these laws into our lives. And alternately our lives really depend on these. The great life can live without us, but we can’t live without the great life.