Main Attributes

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Stewardship: In accepting responsibility for the welfare of the land and the species that our actions are capable of harming, we must act as caretakers, as opposed to managers. Stewardship is in many ways the opposite of dominance; it implies recognition of interdependence and a two-way relationship that is mutually beneficial, characterized by respect as opposed to hubris.

Open-source problem solving: Just as some software and systems developers opt to make their code available — both to seek feedback and to allow others to adapt it to their own use — finding solutions to our complex and often global problems can benefit from as much openness and sharing as possible. With this approach, information is shared more quickly, solutions can be tested and critiqued by a much larger community, more brains are put to work than is possible in any one place, and no large power-broker controls or sells the solutions.

Fulfilling: The performance of a task, activity or obligation should leave us with a sense not just of having done something, and done it well, but of having done something that is worth doing and that gives some meaning to the effort or provides some spiritual reward or contentment.

Flexible: When we approach a problem, challenge or task with an open mind, and without preconceived ideas about what constitutes the best approach or solution, we typically find there are more and better options than we had imagined. Remaining flexible to the possibility of mid-course corrections — or a complete about-face, if necessary — can help us avoid exacerbating an undesired result or allowing our pride to get in the way good judgement.

Commitment to place: When we live, act and plan as if we intend to stay in our community or region, our decisions tend to place more importance on establishing personal relationships, building a stronger community and protecting the land and the ecosystem of that place.

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