Earlier this year, the movie Black Panther was quite a major success, ranking as the highest-grossing film of 2018 as well as the fifth highest-grossing film ever in the United States and the 12th highest-grossing film of all time.

There are many reasons for its great popularity and I am hoping that one of its main messages is resonating with all of us.

King T’Challa shares the wisdom of Wakanda at the world council when he powerfully states, “Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We can not. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”

One single tribe. Brothers and sisters. All of us. Those of us who have two legs, or those of us with four legs, and those of us with wings, and those of us who are finned, and those of us who crawl on the earth… we all share the same home, this earth. We are interconnected and impacted by one another.

Charlie Kaufman, the great film writer of Adaptation, Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, states it this way, “We’re all one thing, like cells in a body. ‘Cept we can’t see the body. The way fish can’t see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell.”

Chief Seattle saw the signs for future destruction of not only his people but also the earth itself. He lived in the 1800’s and he had the wisdom to say: “The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.”

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the Earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clear and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.

The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and the man, all belong to the same family.

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man… the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.”

We have messengers through time whether it comes through Indian chiefs, movie producers, teachers, authors, or earth itself communicating with us, the message is the same. It is not a concept that we are one; it is actually reality.

What changes for you if you step into this reality? What happens to your life choices if your heart opens to reverence for all beings? This is not about convincing you or preaching to you. It is an invocation and invitation to help change consciousness so that we all of us – two legged, four legged, winged ones, finned ones, and crawling ones – continue to be here with the best quality air and water possible. 

For we cannot drop a nuclear bomb across the world and think that our air and water doesn’t become toxic. If reading this article can make one difference in the way you think and act, what is it? Please pause before you move on to your next moment.