How do you talk to people about permaculture? Very carefully. Just joking. Honestly though, talking with people about permaculture sometimes can be down right difficult to do. You just got immersed into a life changing paradigm shift and are super enthusiastic and then someone asks about it or what it is, you almost draw a blank because really… how do you put what just happened to you in words?
What is permaculture? Permaculture is design, it is living systems, it is the replacement to university, it is the future of humanity, it is awesome, it’s even been said it can be all things to all people. With such a vast array of topics, it is a predicament in permaculture, and one of the reasons I started permaculture tips of the day which are adept at being bite sized and easy to digest in one sitting.
So, how DO you speak with someone about permaculture? The answer: It depends.
Let’s look at a few different situations where the topic of permaculture may arise:
(I would like to preface this by saying that there is no right or true wrong way to talk about permaculture and these scenarios are just those I have been involved in, seen, or heard about)
This probably is the easiest because as friends, by nature, you choose to hang out together. So not much needs to be said here. Your friend is probably just happy you are so excited.
This one splits further down into two categories. The parent who is very interested in what their kid is up to or the eager kid trying to talk their parent into doing permaculture or financing their project. The latter can obvious cause issues. I would highly recommend reading this very useful article before asking for outside monetary or financial help.
There is a phenomom in permaculture called “The Permaculture Divorce”. This is where when one member an already married couple has an epiphany and tries to take a very unwilling spouse with them. I mean lets face it – this is not what they signed up for. Ha. We have had client issues where one part of the married couple is not on board. The best advice here is to not push and start slow. Watch documentaries, as this is a harmless approach to learning about our current systems and how we can design them better. Last thing you really want is a divorce. Shoot, you will need a helper on all that land anyhow.
The Random Stranger
Not sure how these always seem to happen but they have been very lucrative in passing along the info. Have a couple of resources you can refer folks to when having this quick conversation (you can totally use School of Permaculture as a resource) and make connections. Permaculture is about relationships. Stay connected either through social media, phone numbers, or email.
You definitely need your elevator pitch here. People are often asking you “what is permaculture” I have a plethora of answers but usually answer with something like “awesome” or “nothing big just the future of humanity”. This puts the listener at ease and then it is not so much feeling like an interview. I would also recommend giving a definition that is quick, encouraging, and to the point such as – Permaculture is a design system that works with natural systems to provide all living needs. Once established it can create a time rich environment where you can go to a place of employment because you want to and not because you have to.
A few more quick tips:
Be tolerant of other people (yes those oil drillers, and fast food eaters can be interested too)
Follow up later
Look to build relationships
We know a lot but not everything
People don’t care about what you know until they know you care about them.
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