We are living in historic times. The pandemic afflicting the human species is not only a test of the resiliency of people around the world, but also an invitation to examine the insufficiency of existing systems, institutions, and norms that govern human behavior. As I wrestle with understanding the rapidly changing conditions that continue to evolve, I also find myself consumed with a search to understand how human societies must change – often paradigmatically – so as to create worlds that halt destructive behaviors and promote harmonious existence with life in all its forms.
In May 2019, I visited a dear friend who is a professor in Warsaw, Poland. My trip lasted just a bit over two weeks; but, in that short time span, I came away with a handful of rich experiences that continue to generate reflections about how a society chooses, and/or is forced, to organize itself. While reflecting on my trip, three overriding themes emerge that appear present in the Polish population: (i) an ethos of agrarianism; (ii) a pervasive spiritual practice; and (iii) the presence of absence and/or an intimate experience of catastrophe.
My modest goal for this Share the Wealth is to share a few stories from my time in Poland that highlight those themes, with the hope that we might generate a space to imagine briefly how we might change our world, before it is changed for us.
Natalie Long is a native of the U.S. Midwest. After attending Saint Louis University for her undergraduate degree, she graduated from DePaul University College of Law. Prior to her current work serving as an environmental litigator for the State of Illinois, her legal practice focused on environmental and agrarian legal issues in south and central Mexico, southern Illinois, and Pennsylvania. When she is not litigating environmental cases, Natalie spends her time baking sourdough bread, learning to garden, researching endangered agrarian practices, traveling in pandemic off-seasons, and puzzling over how the human species might save it from itself.
Join us Sunday 26 April
7:00 p.m C.S.T.
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