The second ethic at the center of Permaculture is Care of People. Ok, so this may seem like another no brainer but let's look at this concept a little closer.
When we talk about caring for people what images does that bring to mind? For most of us the first thing we may think about is helping our neighbors, looking after the elderly, and helping those in need. All of these things are correct, but let's see what else this can mean. When we are helping those around us, it can be more than just helping to put up a fence or making sure someone has a meal. How about teaching others how to grow some of their own food? How to install a rain barrel so the water can be reused on their landscaping? And how to utilize native plants and food bearing plants within the landscape so it not only looks nice but serves a purpose?
When we talk about caring for people we need to think about how to help people meet their needs beyond a handout. By establishing community gardens, educating others about the problems we will soon be facing, and how to live sustainably to deal with those problems we are going beyond short term needs and giving them long term solutions. This also helps to build community and create an environment of support.
In my next post I'll discuss the third and final permaculture ethic. In the meantime, look around your own communities to see what may be happening that falls under the ethic of Care for People. Maybe you will be inspired to start something that will follow this ethic.