Agents, over the past 13 days we’ve been exploring some pretty bold ideas. We began by saying that it is out of the cracks of an Old Story that a New Story for our world can grow, and that we actually have the ability to create this New Story ourselves. Why? Well, because the life within us and around us wishes to live. Therefore, we can learn to trust and harness this power for the benefit of all life, and all future generations.
In fact, the Old Story fought to control and overcome the life within and around us because it didn’t understand how life worked or wishes to be. It forced people to take jobs they didn’t like and forced lawns to exist where wildflowers and forests wish to grow so the bees and butterflies will return.
The New Story, on the other hand, does just the opposite - instead of fighting life, the New Story learns from life and works with life in partnership. Well-being, purpose, fulfillment, community… these are values that the New Story actually honors. And this, Agents, changes everything.
Our last eleven missions have in fact been based on a movement that creates thriving models for old problems in just this way. It’s called permaculture, which is a contraction of the words “permanent” and “culture.”
Permaculture is a system of design that observes how nature solves problems and provides abundance, and then creates human systems based on these vital insights. By mimicking the natural world, permaculture allows us to create solutions that include how to better grow healthy food, use energy creatively and efficiently, make sustainable shelters, earn a fulfilling living, and even share the surplus of our efforts with others.
Observing nature is the foundation of permaculture. Because of this, we began our journey by first observing and then harnessing the life within and around us. Harnessing life energy relates to the permaculture principle of catching and storing energy, and then obtaining a yield (or benefit) from our efforts.
In following missions, we also used and valued diversity, embraced the power of relationships, considered nothing waste, utilized small and slow solutions, and even saw solutions within the problem itself. Each of these is also related to design principles of permaculture.
But… So what? Why does permaculture matter?
The path ahead of us is full of uncertainty and change. What our New Story requires now is a model for how to live in harmony with the world around us, which means we must find ways to provide the resources to fulfill everybody’s needs. The Old Story offered plenty of ways to satisfy our endless wants while providing very little for what we actually need to live good, long, healthy lives.
The space between these two stories is certainly “edgy.” Yet, in permaculture, an edge represents the interaction of two worlds, a rare opportunity to build bridges between the old and the new. In this time, it’s how we choose to respond to change - not react to it - that will determine how this Story of Our World will end up, and whether it’s one we can really be proud of.
Agents, our mission is to continue learning about permaculture as a model for what we actually wish to live into! Can you see how our missions could expand to support other aspects of your life?
Check out the video below to learn more about permaculture!
You can also read an incredible introduction to permaculture here.