“We are all just walking each other home” with Kathleen R. Smythe
Many have been deeply moved by Ram Dass’s declaration that “We are all just walking each other home.” It is interpreted as accompanying each other through the end-of-life process. The resonance between Dass’ oft-quoted statement and the KiSwahili verb, kusindikiza, “to give a push” that I experienced while living in Tanzania helps us to see that we can accompany each other home long before the last stages of our lives. It is such a beautiful sentiment that it seems to shortchange its power if we do not consider that our lives are a long journey toward home, not just in terms of death but in terms of discovering who we are and the promises that we have to keep to ourselves, each other and the earth.
Kathleen is a professor at Xavier University where she addresses questions of contemporary relevance through historical investigation. She prefers bodily-engaged learning and as seen in her most recent book, Bicycling Through Paradise: Historical Rides Around Cincinnati (2021).
She is trained as an African historian with years of fieldwork experience in Tanzania. Africa’s Past, Our Future highlights ideas and institutions in African history that broaden our social, political, and economic imagination. Whole Earth Living: Reconnecting Earth, History, Body and Mind proposes a new sustainability framework based on long-term human interdependencies with the Earth. Kathleen gardens, bikes, walks and hikes anywhere but most often near her home in the Ohio River bioregion near Cincinnati.