The painting above is titled, The Doctor, and was painted in 1877 by Sir Luke Fildes. This poignant image always makes me pause… as a parent, a physician, and a permaculturist, this painting hits me on so many levels. We are at the bedside of a sick patient. That sick patient is our children’s future, and we have a cure if we choose to use it. The Permaculture Prime Directive gets to the core of the matter.

The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for own existence and that of our children.
– Bill Mollison

This is one of the first things written in Bill Mollison’s book, Permaculture, A Designer’s Manual. I don’t have a whole lot to elaborate on it, but I would say that this is one of the primary things that drew me to Permaculture in the first place… even before I read this. I do believe there is something fundamental to being human that craves responsibility and longs to be a part of something that cares for our future generations. I actually do believe there are some significant spiritual reasons for this, but I will not go into that today. I think this quote is powerful enough on its own.


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