Our America

The vision of the world we want to live in

By Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez
Published on LatinoLA: April 22, 2003

Our America

Our America is an indigenous America. It is a continent, not a nation, from Alaska to Chile. It is Turtle Island, Itzachitlan, Abya Yalla and Pacha Mama. It is a place that gave birth to the sacred maize, the three sisters and the seven warriors (the plants that form the basis of indigenous nutrition). It is a place without borders, where men and women of all races, cultures and religions are equal.

Our America is thousands of years old, and it is the future. It has a very long history, part of the native intelligence that has made America, including the United States, what it is today. That history is connected to the rest of humanity, and to the history of this planet and universe. It is actually billions of years old. We don't destroy that history, obfuscate it or build on top of it. We build upon it.

Our America is in constant creation, and we all have a part in it. It is part of this great expanding universe; therefore, it can never exist in contradiction to creation nor in contradiction to the laws of the universe. Whenever it strays into a destructive course, we strive to bring it back into balance, back in sync with the laws of nature. Whatever we create, we do so from both our hearts and our minds, never from fear, real or imagined.

Our America is peaceful. It puts out fires; it doesn't set them. We lead by example. We don't impose our will, values or ideals upon anyone. We don't invade and destroy nations, kill thousands of innocents, make them dependent and then declare them liberated. The desire to live with freedoms and liberties and with peace and dignity is not a uniquely American ideal. It is the desire of all of humanity. All human beings have dreams. No one desires to live in poverty, amid starvation, oppression and hopelessness.

In the world we live in, we cease thinking of America as the center of the universe. We are not No. 1, nor are we superior or above anyone. No one is inferior. We are all part of a larger humanity where our existence depends upon everyone else's existence. That is why we respect international laws, customs and cultures -- to ensure a common security and peaceful coexistence.

"In Lak Ech." You are my other self. "Tu eres mi otro yo." If I hurt you, I hurt myself. If I exploit you, I exploit myself. If I destroy the environment, I destroy it for everyone. If there is an injustice anywhere, we all feel it and are compelled to right it.

In the world we would like to live in:

All life is sacred, and the lives of all human beings are valued equally. Here, we are part of a precious balance with all living things. This is why the Earth is our sacred mother and why we treat her with the utmost respect.

We respectfully look seven generations into the future, ensuring that we leave behind us a world worth living in, a world in which future generations will not have to pay our debt.

We strive to avoid war whenever possible. We turn to our elders -- women and men -- for wisdom and guidance, and to the world's peacemakers to address the world's problems, not to warmongers. We do so to avoid sending our children off to kill other people's children, and so we don't have to dehumanize "our enemies" to be able to better kill them.

We don't rely on others to make this world a peaceful place. Sometimes our leaders fail us. And when they do, it is up to each one of us to make peace with justice all around us, beginning at home.

We all challenge ourselves to create a world where our voices matter, where the needs of the poor and working families are not subordinated to the needs of the rich nor to a war machine that constantly needs feeding.

Our America is the vision of the world we want to live in. A world of honesty, where we don't pray to God to make war to then call it peace. We don't call for freedom and build huge walls of injustice and intolerance. In our America, we simply wish to be good human beings.


About Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez:
Gonzales & Rodriguez can be reached at 817-929-3805 or 310--206-7695 or

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