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October 21, 2021 Sam Peralta

The land is a chief; man is its servant.

According to the National Institutes of Health the human body contains trillions of living microorganisms outnumbering human cells by ten to one. We know that nearly 10 trillion (1013) bacterial cells make up a human’s microbiome. These microbes not only aid in their host’s digestion and nutrition, but also represent an extension of its immune system.

Viruses also have benefits. Most of the genetic information on Earth probably resides within them. Viruses are also important for transferring genes between different species, increasing genetic diversity and enhancing evolution and the adaptation of various organisms to changing environmental challenges.

Today we are focusing mostly on the cause and effects of disease within a sterile laboratory petri-dish. Rather than seeing the microbial world within the context of reality in all its complexity. We have created an unhealthy rationale to inject fear into the hearts and minds of the people. There is a disheartening possibility that we may have disrupted the natural evolutionary process of adaptation and biodiversity.

“The genomic adaptation process and diversity are the two codes of life” –Zac Bush MD.

Things are more complicated than they seem. There is no one solution for all. Thus the importance of education. We need to practice what we preach, to not be afraid to be bold and humble, to share our convictions and concerns. Just as there is a cultural revitalization on the land, we need a cultural revitalization within our souls. We need to mālama our kino lau (the many living forms within our bodies), and do what is pono (what is necessary or balanced) to make sure we are not coming under any influence of oppression, suppression, and manipulation.

Iao Valley, Maui

I believe that the many life forms of our ancestors are still here today. They are in our waters, streams, oceans, and lands. It is said that within a teaspoon of soil there are 10 trillion living organisms. The same goes for our water. Research from Harvard Medical School and the Joslin Diabetes Center suggests that bacteria living inside of us may collectively contain more novel genes than there are stars in the observable universe. … Many estimates have found there to be more bacterial cells than human cells in a body – up to 10 times more in fact.

Iao Valley, Maui

As our sacred lands are being restored, we should restore ourselves. Go for a walk in our forests. Take a dive in our ocean. Garden and breath in your microbiome. As global leaders we need to continue to adapt and diversify. It starts at home, it begins within.

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