Respecting The Source Through Sustainability
The below article was written for Wild Root Market (Racine, Wisconsin) as an endorsement for a more responsible and conscious approach to our community and its relationship to a sustainable lifestyle…
It can be scientifically proven that at a core level everything and everyone is somehow inextricably interconnected. At the most obvious and easily observable level we have an inherent and undeniable connection through our physical world. This is represented through our bodies, our families, our social communities, and at the source, the planet Earth.
For centuries, there has been this growing misconception in our social belief systems that somehow we are separate from our planet (mostly created through our own arrogance from the sheer fact that we have the ability to alter and mold the natural world to our liking). But in fact, we are extensions of the Earth, and we are completely sustained by this planet in every way. Therefore, it is inevitable that our continuing development and evolution (personal, environmental, social, economical, and spiritual) is dependent on a “new,” responsible, and sustainable outlook in order to ensure a viable future for the generations to come.
The word sustainability finds its roots from the Latin word sustinere (tenere, to hold up). Dictionaries provide more than ten meanings for the word sustain, the main ones being to “maintain”, “support”, or “endure. “Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use.” 
By simple definition, “sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems”, Though vague, this conveys the idea of sustainability having quantifiable limits. But sustainability is also a call to action, a task in progress or “journey” and therefore a political process, so some definitions set out common goals and values.
At the 2005 World Summit it was noted that this stewardship requires the reconciliation of environmental, social, and economic demands – the “three pillars” of sustainability…. These three pillars of sustainability are not mutually exclusive but can be mutually reinforcing…”  The Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20, 1987 made this statement: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The concept of stewardship and sustainability is not a new idea. In fact, it is an age-old practice and long held belief in the decision-making process of the tribal councils of our native cultures here in North America. Many native communities practiced a version of ‘The Law of Six Generations” which states that in all decisions impacting the tribe, the people of the tribe, and the environment, the impact on the next six subsequent generations had to be taken into consideration. These decisions were decided by a council of representatives: the leaders, the elders, and respected members of the community both male and female. This responsibility and ideal has otherwise become known in our modern circles as the concept of “sustainability.” We are finally beginning to catch on!
It is also important to examine the word responsibility or “answerable” (to another, for something),” which is derived from the Latin word responsus, and French word respondere “to respond”, meaning “morally accountable for one’s actions.” It also retains the sense of “obligation” in the Latin root word. One can also re-examine the word “response – ability” as the phrase “the ability to respond,” which is what we as a culture are beginning to finally see as part of the next phase of human stewardship with the Earth. I would like to deepen this definition even further to say that at the core of the human experience the concept of responsibility is the “ability to respond with love and awareness.” to any and all of our present challenges.
As a social culture, growing in consciousness and Self-awareness, we are now choosing the “ability to respond with love” in a sustainable approach to our most basic physical needs that are provided directly from the Earth—that being our food source, along with the social and economic systems that will provide this service to the community.
Wherever I travel, I make it my policy to support organic and local farming, community markets, food-cops, and sustainable industry in order to raise awareness of the vast benefits that are available at every level. It is a lifestyle choice. As we allow ourselves to “Let food be our medicine. Let medicine be our food,”  we will only see the positive impact on every aspect of our being.
This is the undeniable wave of the future. Industries all over the globe are re-discovering that to “endure” or “sustain” life as we know it we need to re-examine our relationship to the Earth in every way. And at a deeper level this “responsibility” is truly a profound act of self-love in the growing evolution of the human consciousness. However one may choose to identify this growing awakening, one thing is certain. We are being inspired to once again, respect, remember, and return to our so called… “Wild Roots.”
Accept the invitation to become involved in the solution for our future.
– Markus William Kasunich
Wild Roots Mission Statement:
“We are a community resource that practices and promotes nutritional awareness, local farming and production, environmental responsibility, social and economic justice, collective management, and consensus decision-making.
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of southeastern Wisconsin through the sustainable operation of a full-service, cooperatively owned grocery serving its community, employees and owners while working as a part of a stronger local food system…”
1. • Dictionary.com
2. • Onions, Charles, T. (ed) (1964). The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 2095.
3. • Wikipedia
4 • United Nations General Assembly (2005). 2005 World Summit Outcome, Resolution A/60/1, adopted by the General Assembly on 15 September 2005
5. • Forestry Commission of Great Britain. Sustainability.
6. • United Nations General Assembly (1987) Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. Transmitted to the General Assembly as an Annex to document A/42/427 – Development and International Co-operation: Environment.
7. • United Nations General Assembly (March 20, 1987). “Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future; Transmitted to the General Assembly as an Annex to document A/42/427 – Development and International Co-operation: Environment; Our Common Future, Chapter 2: Towards Sustainable Development; Paragraph 1”. United Nations General Assembly.
8. • IUCN/UNEP/WWF (1991). “Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living.” Gland, Switzerland.
9. • Markus J., Milne M.K., Kearins, K., & Walton, S. (2006). Creating Adventures in Wonderland: The Journey Metaphor and Environmental Sustainability. Organization 13(6): 801-839.
10. • Hippocrates (460 BC – 377 BC)
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