The Moment We Lost the Gift of Sharing

We are clamoring for values education, and we continue to talk in romantic terms of our social fabric. But how much of this are we really practicing? How much of this are we expressing in our daily actions? The permaculture mind is a mind that will share unconditionally. It is not about putting a premium on everything, but like we all have different capacity to share, the fact remains that we can always counterpart something. But the poverty of the mind, the monoculture of our deeds is surpassing all expectations. The social change that we experience is as much out of control as the climate change upon us. It is frightening when people suddenly start looking inward and the I-mentality becomes the norm everywhere.

Imagine if we analyzed what is really happening. We realize that we have become robots of corporations that lead lives none of us control, not even the managers at the helm of these corporations. We have given away our freedom, just to listen to corporations on how we should live our lives. The I-mentality stands contrary to how people learned to live in community over the past thousands of years. The individual was important only in function of the whole community until taste makers and a growing economy started bombarding us with a negative perception of community and how we should all shine as little ego’s , competing with each other’s energy. The idea is no longer about sharing information and cooperation but about what we know and how we can advance our personal agendas in function of a personal ego.

The popular image showing the EGO-Logical and ECO-Logical self.

Ego and ecological self

Imagine yourself to stop going to the mall, to simplify your life and to start asking life’s essential questions. What do we need to live a beautiful life? What do we need to survive? What should we do for a living? You should never apply for a job, but follow your heart. If you think that this is romantic, think again. Until the industrial revolution there were no jobs. Those working for others were slaves or could only receive meager benefits in return for their time spent. Until the industrial revolution we were all organic farmers and we were able to sustain life in the most beautiful of forms. Yes people may have died, but this kept the population in control, a feat we are currently very poor at. There are just too many people, a shrinking planet and trumpeting corporations telling us to personally shine after buying their stuff. How far and how long will this continue?

A city full of people in Guadalupe.

People in Guadalupe city

Permaculture as a concept and the design mechanics embedded in its meaning are the only true tools you need to reverse the trend of the big ego. Permaculture mind gently brushes with evolution and makes us understand how our society functions and how we can retool ourselves to become better at tweaking the society in the right direction and to ensure that our planet will become a gentler copy of its current self.

When nature is at the forefront of everything we do, life will be kind, there will be less stress and aggression, and we tend to become more productive. Our productivity is partially personal, but as we design towards abundance, more and more people will benefit as well.

Shelves or organic and nature-based goods in the Ale-ale Permaculture Learning Resource Center.

Organic store in Ale-ale

So then, will there still be assholes and idiots? Of course, but with a gentle majority in place these will eventually fade away or be countered. Evolution in nature can only happen with feedback loops that will check on negative things and that will need to build on the experiences related to it. The design brief is quite simple: question everything, and you will find the right answer. You may not have to go to school for that except if school would be that giant laboratory that gives you four years of practical life skills before dropping you in the big world. That’s where we currently bump in another bottleneck. Schools are no longer teaching life’s skills, and they tend to tolerate the broken system or worse, promote it. Corporations are heavily investing in the educational system as they understand how that will maintain a status quo for them.

Start making sense and sharing what you know with those interested. Be the open source, but be better at the things you do. In the process of challenging we create the right prickle to move into a gentler space we all appreciate.

4 thoughts on “The Moment We Lost the Gift of Sharing”

  1. Kim says:

    Comanaging is not sharing your products. It is sharing the management of your commons. Teaching each other how to look after what we already share. Water, ecosystems, the local skill pool

  2. Kim says:

    A good example of that is sharing the work to develop a market. Most provincial businesses in the philippines are local skills learnt from family. When enough is produced co-operatives can be set up to share the sale and transport of the shared product. All of that is shared work and shared profit. That is why there are membership fees. The fees are shared costs

  3. Joseph R Lopez says:

    Farming or gardening was once part of my childhood dream. I wanted to do something about it in as much as I could but the limitation of living in a crowded city limits me from doing it. Though many in our neighborhood remains to have small spaces for plants and a single fruit tree to maintain like mango, star apple or coconut, that time, progress has reduced it to pot plants then it’s gone after all the concrete houses became dominant. Our aspiration remains a dream and we look and pursue at the practical side of life. Job security was based on what’s in and what your parents influence you on what you want you to pursue. In my case, I have to earn after college, taking the course I did not really like and compromising what I really want to have, yet I could not have it due to poor standard of living and community influence. How can you farm when you’re living in a city at an age where your parents controls you. It took some time to earn, establish a family, save for your kids education until the right moment comes where you can have some saved money to buy a land of your own for a farm. Ego and ecology, it depends on the person in putting a farm or the like. I guess it depends on the real intention. Business drives people to establish farm in commercial ways and for those with childhood aspiration could be of different story. If one is afraid to loose a job in pursuing a dream and the time comes that it is on the reach of his hand, then it’s nothing but a dream. But if one is willing to face that high risk, put his investment without the intention of getting rich, living by his limitation and life’s simplicity, willing to share with others without the motive of financial gains, instead thingking of value formation and knowledge sharing then that’s a timeless principles a person should live by. The concept is giving, trust and knowledge sharing. If one would think like a child, be happy, just play and deal it with natures way, then ego turns into eco. We all have our needs for money yet money should not bind us from being too protective since by the end of the day our dead bodies will be part of the soil that gives life to many of the microorganism that is needed by plants that we eat. It’s a complex discussion but we need to stick to the very basics and priciples of permaculture. Different people have different ways of interpreting it but nature has its own natural laws that we have to respect.

  4. Dear Mr. Lopez,

    Thank you for your insight. We believe permaculture is the mediation of “eco” self and “ego” self. One can take a for profit job at the beginning, until not-for-profit endeavour becomes more stable and sustainable. Indeed, it is wrong to pursue money entirely. it affects not only the individual’s attitude to life and represses his or her passion, but also the people around him or her who receive his or her work. Money is but a means to survive in our current economic setup, not an end. Ultimately, the idea in permaculture is not to profit but to create enough essential products such as food and shelter needs that would be mainly for the community. Individuals could own personal belongings, but not land and people. Philippine Permaculture Association is currently conceptualizing lectures and workshops that could help interested individuals start their permaculture journey by teaching skills and alternative economic modes that are essential to survival. Sustainable entrepreneurship is but a tool to abundance. Regarding urban communities, nowadays, it is possible to do urban gardening and permaculture. You could attend our courses or first learn from the internet yourself, practice, and then join courses. When we try to do permaculture, we impart a different version of reality, economy, and society–one that’s gentler on people and planet.

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