In my last post I shared excerpts from Robert Krulwich’s speech, but I should quickly elaborate on COA’s graduation lest you think COA’s graduation is typical: it’s not. We do not wear the black caps & gowns that so often signify academic achievement. Many have flowers in their hair, and some walk across the stage barefoot. After receiving a diploma, each graduate calls the next person’s name and hands them a flower.
When the ceremony was over, I introduced my family to friends and teachers while we snacked on delicious food prepared by the COA kitchen. I gorged on fresh vegetables, gf & vegan finger cakes, and strawberries dipped in the chocolate fountain. I felt weird without my camera but I wanted to go through the event without the weight of my favorite lightbox friend (my fingers itched most of the time, and I won’t make the same decision again).
During my time at COA I studied Human Ecology and worked on the publications committee and contributed to the college magazine. My last article (at least as a student) was about what human ecology means to me (LOVE) & now seems as good a time as any to share it with you. xo.
I have two weeks left as a student before I graduate and venture out into the world, and so the obvious question arises: what’s next? For me, yes — but I’m also curious about you and everyone else. Because I want the world. For you and for me, bien sur! But mostly, I just don’t want to be responsible for destroying it. Or for sitting around talking, deconstructing, and reconstructing ideas until it’s too late.
We are living through a war, a war waged against the planet by the dominant culture of consumption, against that which supports all life. And I know we must fight back, but how? Especially when the problems are so complex.
Again and again, I come to this conclusion: we connect. We work to break down barriers without destroying our differences. We overcome self-consciousness, language, race, gender, and socioeconomics. We destroy every possible barrier that keeps you away from me, because if your hand isn’t in mine as we step toward the future, we are too far apart.
We refuse to do anything less than… love.
Because what is love if it is not that which propels us — transforms us — to act from our anger and sorrow to use our power and knowledge to live a life in pursuit of something better for ourselves, our children, and our community? When I refer to love, it is this force and this desire to live and let live. Maybe there’s a better word for it. Justice, perhaps? Truth?
This war may be stupid and complicated and I don’t know which side will win, but I live with the hope that … well, at least that there is still hope. And if it is too late? I live believing that fighting on the side of life, light, and love is more fun than giving up.
So what’s next for this human ecologist?
Well, whatever I do, wherever I am, I will dance and smile and LOVE my way to the future, and I will try my darn hardest to make it a beautiful one.
Special thanks to everyone who passed my camera around. I’m glad I can finally share these!1