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Responsible Interaction

 
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Hey Permies. I’d like to share a brief story, followed by a question that arises from that story. The topic regards how we can observe and interact in a responsible way.

So, I went for a jog today near Golden, Colorado. The terrain was hilly. I pushed to the top of a moderate incline and then paused to catch my breath. To the east, through the fog, I could still make out the Denver skyline. To the North, the massive dome of the Jefferson Correctional Facility was visible. All around the foothills were shrouded in mist. Looking down, I saw pools of rainwater that had collected between the rocky slabs. I squated down, still huffing a bit from the jog, and peered into one of the pools. The water was still and quiet. Curious, seeking some tiny creature or other small phenomenon of nature, and remembering when I once searched for crabs beneath rocks on the coast of Maine, I reached my hand into the little rainpool and removed a fist-sized rock. Little galaxies of sediment swirled forth then settled again to the bottom. No creatures were visible in the impression where the rock had lain. None visible to my eye, at least. Surely, though, I thought, there was a whole microscopic habitat down there. I was conscious that my exploring hand had created a cataclysmic disruption for that little ecosystem. I reflected for a few moments before replacing the rock.For the little microorganism down there, though, things would never be the same.

So my question is this, how do you think we can be responsible and mindful of our impact as we observe and interact with the world? How do we stay tactful, aware and respectful while avoiding unhelpful constriction or excessive self-limitation? While our finite minds probably can’t account for the myriad impact of our actions on various scales and dimensions, how do we do our best to measure or discern our impact as we move about the world?

Looking forward to hearing any feedback or responses!

-Michael
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Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit
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