No One Owns the Earth

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

From the beginning of time various creatures roamed the earth. Some grew to enormous proportions during the period of the dinosaurs. Then, because of circumstances beyond their control, they were wiped out. Gradually human beings began to fence off areas and declared these areas private property. Until that time people freely roamed, living off the land, the rivers and oceans. When agriculture developed and people began to dwell on pieces of land rather than roaming about then ownership of land became an issue.

It is difficult to think of this very northwest being uninhabited until people came from other areas of the earth to begin life here. Certain tribes controlled certain areas of land but there was not individual ownership. It was not until our country sent out Lewis and Clark to explore the western region that settlers began migrating west in any great numbers. The government offered ownership of land to early settlers. Different ideas about land use arose, however. The Native Americans did not appreciate settlers coming onto their territory and putting fences around what they claimed as their land. Cattle owners wanted vast areas for their cattle to roam about in so they didn’t want land to be fenced in either.

Those who had the power to control land were the ones who dominated. All of our ancestors were immigrants to this continent but we have forgotten that in our possessiveness of this country. Those who would like to migrate here are not always welcome these days. We assume that we have squatter’s rights since we don’t remember the early settlers who first came here to this country to start a new life. Around the world there are still battles being fought over territory. We are fortunate that our borders are relatively free from war. The complex situation in Europe where numerous countries are vying for territory has not arisen on the North American continent—at least where it would affect us in the northwest region.

The great mix of people who came to our shores has made us the entrepreneurs that we are. Early settlements like Port Angeles and Home are testaments to the human spirit that was responsible for paving new ground. It has made us more able to survive. Granted, there are regions that are more isolated and that have settled into definite patterns that have remained for generations. But our great northwest has always nurtured people who were looking for a newer life and who built new societies.

The world is always with us since television brings the whole world to our door.

I believe that one human cannot take in the whole world’s problems without frustration.

So I limit my focus to my own life, my extended family connections, to my own circle of friends and leave the rest of the world to my government to worry about. One human psyche cannot take in responsibility for the whole world.

The west side of Seattle has always served as a special area away from the skyscrapers of the teeming city. It is family friendly with wonderful areas for recreation.

Granted, there is nothing like the certainty of change and our area is undergoing many changes of late. As Seattle grows in population, so does our little bedroom community. But the wonderful views from West Seattle homes can never be taken away. There is no end to the wonderful sunsets over the Olympics and the varying gray skies which Seattle is noted for. Beats 100 degree summers and frigid winters elsewhere, right?
Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at or 206-935-8663.

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