Main Attributes

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Unifying (quest for common ground): The best solutions and the best social and political relationships are built when all partners seek common ground where all are values and heard, as opposed to seeking resolution to questions through competition and confrontation.

Diversity: A diversity of views, qualities, skills and strengths will make a group or a community stronger, more vibrant and more resilient in the face of threats and sudden crises. Similarly, biodiversity offers richness, resilience and security to a food supply or a forest. Diversity allows systems to thrive, not just survive.

Elegance: An elegant solution is a simple one that does many things well, with the fewest negative impacts.

Artful: Living Lightly should be as imaginative, spontaneous and beauty-filled as possible. This is a place where art and science meet, and where reason and emotion combine to powerful effect.

Dignity: When a person lives a life, plays a role or performs a job that gives them a sense of purpose without requiring them to set aside their values, then they are most likely to have and to maintain those most previous commodities: dignity and self-respect.

Simplicity: Solutions need not be complex or expensive. When traced to their source, problems can often be solved in surprisingly simple ways.

Humour: Be prepared to laugh. Use humour to tell stories, teach lessons and identify perverse practices.

Humility: Be prepared to admit that you do not have all the answers and are sometime even wrong — this is a powerful and disarming tool. The ability to change one’s mind is a sign of strength and confidence, not weakness.

Passion: It is passion that drives people to pursue healthy and sustainable lives, even when the odds appear stacked against them. Passion provides energy, focus, perseverance and a sense of purpose.

Resilience: For people and organizations to withstand and rebound from crises, disasters and shocks, it is necessary to encourage resilience. Resilient individuals have a strong sense of their core values, and are hence able to withstand far greater threats and changes. Resilient groups and societies are characterized by flexibility, humility, diversity, shared responsibility, decentralized decision-making, and a high level of comfort with change and surprise.

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