Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider.
— Paul Hawken
Permaculture starts with ethical intention. The three statements of ethical intention for the practice of permaculture are:
Care of Earth: All life systems have the provisions and resources to continue and thrive.
Care of People: All people have the provisions to access the resources necessary for their existence.
“Fair share” or Return the Surplus: We set limits to consumption by taking only what we need, and by governing our own needs so that resources are set aside for Earth and others.[i]
The ethical intention is a statement of our most significant primary relationships and in some sense, what “right” or “good” relationship can be. The ethical intention of permaculture is the conscious dream, or the desired fruit of our work. We imagine the world as we would like it to be.
Underlying this deepest intention of permaculture, is a personal decision or commitment to take responsibility for our own existence and that of future generations.
This decision is profound, and by making it, we find inner resources and give ourselves permission to learn and grow. By this commitment, to take responsibility for our own existence and that of future generations, we begin with a decision for our own existence.
We, thus, must begin this journey with ourselves: our own inner being, inner authority, inner wisdom and deepest emotions, dreams and desires. In this ethical intention, we, by necessity, first open ourselves to a path of self-knowledge and growth.
[i] Adapted from Mollison, B. (1988). PERMACULTURE: A Designers’ Manual. Sisters Creek, Tasmania 7325, Australia: Tagari Publications. p. 2.