We’re constantly taking. We don’t make most of the food we eat. We don’t grow it anyway. We wear clothes other people make, we speak a language other people developed, we use a mathematics other people evolved and spent their lives building. In the United States we live on land that was taken. As a society, as a people, we do a lot of taking from others, from our own past. We feel it is ours.

That’s the normal course of things. We don’t give it a second thought, and rarely stop to recognize how inequitable it is. So much goes on and has gone on for the purpose of making our lives easier. People paid a price to bring us here, and people (and animals) pay prices today to keep it all running smoothly for us.

Each generation has the luxury of forgetting the past and building on what was painstakingly built, while the underlying mechanics – the dark places we don’t want to see – become more pervasive as they scale to meet our needs, though still residing just below most of our radars.

We can give something back. We can take less. Or work to provide for our needs without having to take as much. We can create. It’s a wonderful ecstatic feeling to create something and put it into the pool of human experience and knowledge. Even if it’s small, make a contribution. Find your art, your expression, and start there.

Be sure to contribute something. And try to take a little less along the way.

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