I felt a tap on my shoulder, and there it was. It was masculinity, looking me right in the face, reminding me that boys don’t sing Whitney Houston, that boys don’t act like that, and demanding that I put the mask back on. And I remembered that masculinity represented something. And that something, just like the performance of masculinity, was ever evolving. Sometimes that masculinity represented acceptance. Sometimes it represented respect. Sometimes it represented safety. And sometimes it represented power. But the performance of masculinity never, ever meant freedom. It meant that everyone—including me—would never get to know who I really was.
—  Wade Davis, The Mask of Masculinity
The world can only appear monochromatic to those who persist in interpreting what they experience through the lens of a single cultural paradigm, their own. For those with the eyes to see and the heart to feel, it remains a rich and complex topography of the spirit
—  Wade Davis
For me, wearing the mask of masculinity was never ending. I knew that one of the rules was that I must verbally and with great rage name, question and call out other boys whose masculinity did not fit into the norm, and that included calling other kids a ‘faggot.’ I used the word ‘faggot’ as a weapon to enact violence on other kids whenever I could. And though these kids must have thought I hated them, the truth is I wanted to be one of these openly gay kids. But my struggle with internalized homophobia and self-hatred and shame prevented me from embracing them and seeing their real courage.

And I also understood that the words ‘faggot’ and ‘queer’ weren’t just used for kids who were actually gay [but also] anyone whose gender performance did not fit into the norm and made others uncomfortable. So I created as much distance as possible so as not to be labelled a fag. That meant also that I had to be mindful of rumours, because one rumour could cause me to lose all of this imagined safety, that my many years of well-choreographed and well-performed masculinity had given me.

Wade Davis, The Mask of Masculinity

The 20th century, three hundred years from now, is not going to be remembered for its wars or its technological innovations, but rather as the era in which we stood by, and either actively endorsed or passively accepted the massive destruction of both biological diversity and cultural diversity on the planet.

The problem isn’t change. All cultures throughout time have constantly engaged in a dance with new possibilities of life. And the problem is not technology itself. The Sioux Indians did not stop being Sioux when they gave up the bow and arrow any more than Americans stopped being American when they gave up the horse and buggy. It’s not change or technology that threatens the integrity of the ethnosphere…

It is power; The crude face of domination. And whenever you look around the world, you discover that these are not cultures destined to fade away. These are dynamic, living peoples being driven out of existence by a identifiable forces that are beyond their capacity to adapt to.


Wade Davis

TED Talks: Cultures at The Far Edge of The World (Feb. 2003)

A child raised to believe that a mountain is the abode of a protective spirit will be a profoundly different human being from a youth brought up to believe that a mountain is simply a pile of inert ore ready to be mined. A child raised to revere the coastal rainforest as the realm of the divine will be a different person from a child taught to believe that such forests are destined to be logged.

-Wade Davis, from his 2009 Massey Lecture, The Wayfinders:Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World

The Wayfinders // Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in a Modern World

I just finished reading this book by Wade Davis.  I found it to be captivating, inspiring and saddening at the same time.  As I was reading it I found myself experiencing life through the eyes of different cultures and I feel that it has left me with a greater understanding of what it means to be alive on this planet.  This is one of those books that has the potential to make the world a better place. 
I know a lot of people don’t read very much but I definetely recommend picking up this book and getting lost in the joy of what it means to be alive.

Caitlyn Jenner didn’t just come out she invited everyone in 

As I sat in the audience of the ESPYs Wednesday night and listened to Caitlyn Jenner’s story and acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, one thing was clear: Jenner was not “coming out.” She was “inviting in” a world full of people she thought would never fully embrace and love her.  

The truth is, LGBT individuals live among the same people we fear. I’ve never loved the saying “coming out” because of the shame inherent to the idea that LGBT people live in an imagined closet. We aren’t boogiemen or monsters; we are people trying to find a safe space in a world that doesn’t always reward honesty, especially when it’s packaged differently. Caitlyn Jenner embodied that Wednesday night.

— Wade Davis for Mic

We are born of water…Compress our bones, ligaments and muscle sinew, extract the platelets and cells from our blood, and the rest of us, nearly two-thirds of our weight, would flow as easily as a river to the sea.

Wade Davis

Introduction to Edward Burtynsky’s book
Burtynsky: Water

19 October 2013|NewScientist|25