One Family, One Community: A Story of Life

Planetary Health Alliance
3 min readMay 26, 2020

A Planetary Poem to celebrate the first Clinicians for Planetary Health Community Call and the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22nd, 2020

By Nathaniel Uchtmann

Credit: Unsplash

My friends,

I would like to share,

A story,

With you.

A story about what it means to be alive:

Across time and across space, connected as we all are,

By the same blood, which pulses through our vessels,

And the same air, which softly, rhythmically fills our lungs.

It is a new old story.

New, because we are now connected,

In more ways than ever before,

Both in peril, And, in promise.

Old, because the keepers of our traditions,

And the tellers of our universal human stories,

All knew, and all know, that life is birthed by and emerges,

Out of connection.

This is a story about us,

A story about all those who love both life, and the necessary preconditions for life —

Who passionately believe in honoring our shared planetary home,

And who come together with a common purpose:

To unite, and to raise our voices as one.

To give a hand to hold,

A shoulder to lean on,

And to steadfastly encourage each other,

That while we open our hearts,

Much hope still remains,

When we resolutely choose to see, the vibrant, spellbinding light,

That through our iron will, must shine on.

Together speaking truth to power,

As we channel the love, the beauty, and the truth,

That lives within every single creature, both human and non-human,

Each one a fellow traveler in the wonderful, and mysterious, Circle of Life.

Exploring the universal mysteries,

And asking similar questions,

As those that have been asked,

From time immemorial:

Looking within ourselves to define our core identities: Who are we?

Looking around at our communities: What values do we collectively embody together?

Looking backward: How did we get here?

Looking forward: Where are we going?

Today, May 22, 2020, just so happens to be,

The International Day for Biological Diversity.

And on this day, in this shared space,

Our call to action is crystal clear.

To correct the excess division, and heal the unhealthy relationships,

Which systematically destroy Planet Earth’s capacity,

To steward and support, our exceedingly fragile,

And as yet deeply inequitable, human civilization.

Our collective challenge is to build on the enduring legacy of our ancestors,

And the immeasurable sacrifices they made for us to be here,

As we each play our part in the amazing story,

Of life on Earth.

To understand and address the real “Root Causes”,

For deeply unjust planetary crises, including both Climate Change and COVID-19,

Which are fundamentally related, as outgrowths of the devastatingly destructive idea,

That human beings are separate from, and superior to, nature.

To come together as One, for Life.

By uniting around our shared love,

Both for each other,

And for our precious home, on Earth.

To learn from each other,

How we can restore healthy connections to our universal roots —

In the air, and deep within the soil,

That is indisputably indispensable to our survival.

To help each other see the sacredness,

Of all the lands and waters that we share,

And embrace our true calling as stewards and shepherds,

On behalf of all our children, and all the generations that are yet to come.

One Human Family,

Reconnected at last,

Within our One, Shared,

Planetary Community of Life.

One World,

One Life,

Let us Together,

Cherish the Beauty of Diversity.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Planetary Health Alliance or its members.



Planetary Health Alliance

Generating better understanding of the links between accelerating global environmental change and human health to support policy making and public education