Caring for and Healing the Earth

Philosophy of Caretaking

Taking Care Before Caretaking

Susan Skinner

In September 1998 some friends and I taught a 3-day "Earthskills" class. It was an introductory level class and there were about 15 students.
    The last morning we spent about 3 hours on caretaking. One 20 year old student said, "I understand wanting to make an area healthier, but don’t you think that mankind has messed with everything enough? Shouldn’t we let Mother Nature take her own course and bring her own balance to the area?"
    This was a good question. My answer to him was that humans are a part of nature’s cycle and we should be in partnership with her to restore and maintain balance. We could help cut the recovery time of the imbalance by many years.
    Even though I believe my answer is true, I also know that sometimes it is better to leave some things for the Earth to take care of.
    This young man’s question is one that all caretakers must ask themselves, the Creator, and the Earth before taking any action. Thought and calculation should also come first, but we must not act alone. Taking care before caretaking will produce the best results.


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