The Mountain is Stripped By David Ignatow: Reading and Meditation

August 27, 2020  • Executive Leadership Seminars Department

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The Mountain is Stripped, David Ignatow


The call to justice and action first requires a quiet reckoning. The justice that we seek is necessitated by our own exploitation of both the natural world and ourselves. “The warning voice is God:/the whales are bled in the sea/the mountain is stripped.” The horrors of whaling and various meat and hunting industries around the world have brought us face to face with a conservation crisis. The destructive practice of strip mining for materials within mountains is devastating natural landscapes around the world. Ignatow calls us to hear the warning voice within, the call to answer the harm that has been done. “I no longer have to declare myself; a quietness urges me, regardless/of my grievance, to go about. /I affect the justice of my cause;/while I live I am the answer to harm.”

Abraham Lincoln said, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” Where in your world do you find yourself contributing to harmful practices? How might these in turn come to impact those around you, and eventually your own life? How are you the answer to harm? No matter how small our actions towards the fight for righteousness, Ignatow calls us to recognize that we do affect the justice of our cause. What actions can you take today to reckon with our collective mistakes and begin to remedy the harm that’s been done?

Brianna Curran, Washington, DC

Wellsprings of Living and Leading
April 15, 2020 •