Wetiko is a term from Native American culture. It marks a mental issue that leads to harmful self-focus, greed, and damage. Consider someone who can’t get enough wealth and power. They readily use others for their gain and hurt our environment to fill their pockets, usually taking more than they need, leaving less for others. Such harmful actions mirrors the reality of wetiko.
Wetiko also represents a damaging force living inside us. It’s also tied to the way societies work today. This mindset is full of selfishness, greed, and a craving for power. Consider a corporation as an example. They choose profit over caring for the environment. They put earnings above the wellbeing of workers. This is the wetiko mindset in action. It feeds damaging values and actions, making society’s problems worse.
In contrast to wetiko, Native American wisdom teaches us to honor the Earth. They believe we’re a part of nature, not above it. We respect all life. We take only what we need and give back whenever we can. It’s about living in harmony with nature and each other.
Breaking away from the wetiko mindset means shifting from selfishness to community. From greed to simply giving. And from power-hunger to humility. Only then can we heal ourselves, each other, and our planet. This is the true wisdom and our way forward.
Countering Wetiko Through Awareness and Unity
When we’re not aware, we can be easily controlled. If we start feeling we’re better or more conscious than others, that’s when wetiko is acting through us. Experiencing anger or disgust with others is another sign. Getting caught up in any kind of division, like political or social, shows wetiko at work.
Look at the state of our world. You can see division everywhere. This is not only a problem in politics or society, but also in areas like the New Age movement. Even here, some people claim they’re more enlightened and conscious than others. Wetiko influences all of us. Becoming aware of who and what we are consuming is key. I have met many who calll themselves “healers” but are deeply divided inside themselves, passing on their darkness and wetiko onto others as healing.
Consider a heated argument with a friend over differing views. Instead of listening and understanding, we might just focus on proving ourselves right. This division is a sign of wetiko.
According to Indigenous wisdom, feeling separate from nature means we lose our sense of connection and wholeness. But, there’s hope. We can heal these divisions by becoming truly aware and conscious.
First, we heal the division within us. When we find inner peace, we see things with more clarity and can make healthier choices. For instance, instead of insisting on being right in a disagreement, we listen. We realize that trying to win keeps us stuck.
The real question isn’t about who’s right or wrong. In a game of winners and losers, we all end up losing. Our real opportunity is to understand what’s healthy for both ourselves and everyone around us. This is a powerful way to reduce the sway of wetiko.
Spotting wetiko in ourselves, in others, and in the way our society operates is the first step to healing. This awareness allows us to navigate its negative influence and embark on a journey of transformation.
We are all connected in the great web of life. We are not separate entities. The wetiko within us links to a system that prioritizes self-gain. Consider the impact when we continuously buy more than we need, leaving others with less. That behavior reflects the mindset of wetiko.
Identifying wetiko is not enough. Attempting to change without addressing the root cause is akin to trying to mop up a leak without fixing the tap. Instead, we can create a healthier reality.
Choosing kindness over greed is key. We have an opportunity to explore alternative ways to live and build healthier models. For example, creating a community garden in our neighborhood promotes sharing, caring for nature, and building stronger relationships—a direct contrast to the mindset of wetiko.
A critical look at the structure of our society is also necessary. When we understand how certain systems oppress people , we become aware of how different forms of oppression are interconnected. With this understanding, we pave the way for what we need. It’s like knocking down walls to let in more light, countering wetiko, and moving towards a healthier world.
Adopting a Holistic Perspective
The path to freedom is looking inward. Facing our hidden fears, working through our wounds and past traumas, and letting go of toxicity. This helps us align with our true selves, our inner light and authenticity. Wetiko acts like a teacher in a strange way. Helping us become more conscious. It’s like a sickness, but also the cure. It makes us aware of what we need to transform and heal.
Building empathy, recognizing our deep connections, and standing together is so important. When we nurture these values and seize opportunities to shape healthy stories, we’re on our way to building a society that truly values the wellbeing of all its members.
To truly heal, we reconnect with ethical values, embrace learning, and foster a harmonious relationship with nature. Our Indigenous ancestors left us a rich legacy of wisdom about living in harmony with the natural world. Using our combined wisdom, we pull away from the negative influence of wetiko and instead build a future founded on what truly matters.
By recognizing the destructive force that wetiko represents, and actively taking steps to lessen its influence, we’re fostering positive growth in our society. This is the way forward towards a future that is more inclusive, more compassionate, and regenerative for all.
When we no longer need to call out diversity and inclusion, for example, because we have unity and mutual respect, we will be the healthiest medicine this world has witnessed so far. There is enough for all for a world of opportunity-creators, individually and collectively.
Bucky Fuller reminds us, “You don’t fight the old reality, you create the new reality.”