Fresh Living

Wade Davis has the coolest job title–and job–ever: Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic. He just gave a talk here at the LOHAS conference about all the many indigenous cultures he has studied, lived with, and loves. He talked of their spiritual connections and obligations, their relationships with plant medicine, and more–without treacly romanticizing. And I paraphrase: “Shirley MacLaine has given us the idea that shamans are these nice men with bells and feathers, but I’ve never bet a shaman who wasn’t a little bit of a psycho. Which is necessary because it’s his job to, as Joesph Campbell said, ‘navigate the waters most of us would drown in.'”

He also told the story of a woman in South America asking him for a cigarette and how she immediately disassembled it and went hut-to-hut with the pieces, equally distributing each bit of tobacco because her social “obligation to share.”

Sad, moving, inspiring, tear-inducing, and literally chill-giving, he got a long standing ovation. I wish I could show you the talk he gave today, but in lieu, here is Wade Davis’ TED talk, which I’m told is also pretty freaking inspiring.


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