The lung of humanity
There is a Mayan story that describes a human being as one in whose nature exists a “deep hole”: like a hunger that can never be satisfied. In another culture, that “opening” was defined as “yearning”, or a “desire of the heart”.
Further south, in the Amazon, other indigenous peoples have given their answer to this desire. Those who live there as heirs of a tradition formed over millennia see themselves as guardians of a forest that transcends them, guardians of an intimate relationship with Creation, which manifests itself there in such an overwhelming way.
It transcends them in space, because perhaps without understanding how it produces oxygen, they do not doubt that it is an asset for all humanity. A humanity which they teach us with that attitude of generosity and search for depth, feeling themselves as at the service of all those who benefit from that forest, from our life.
In all of creation, its creator is recognised, and even there they recognise transcendence. The Amazon has the most abundant aquifers on the planet and huge expanses of forest. This makes it one of the most fertile and biodiverse regions on the planet. Thus they recognise the trace that their creator leaves behind and they recognise him as the Creator of life.
The Amazon also transcends those peoples in time, because it was there long before their arrival and will continue when they die. They do not possess it as their property, but receive it from a God who gives them the opportunity to take care of it. This implies a privileged position in which to enjoy it, despite knowing that it can cost them their lives.
This view of the world contrasts with that of those who dare to call “our” Amazon. We should not speak of possession, but of gratitude and co-responsibility. The discussion should not be about costs and benefits, but about gratuitous service and brotherhood. It is useless to call into question that we are dealing with a “lung of the planet”, without asking ourselves if we accept the breath that it offers us to fill us with humanity.
Originally published on: https://pastoralsj.org/vivir/2363-pulmon-de-humanidad