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Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I read several years ago that many of the Native American tribes used a collaborative process by which to govern themselves.  Though the structures of those ruling councils and their constitutions varied, many operated by a set of guiding principles that premised decisions on ecological sustainability. 

One of those commonly accepted principles was this: Always make decisions with the 7th unborn generation in mind.

Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation, is quoted as follows: "We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure and to make every decision that we make relate to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come. . . ." "What about the seventh generation? Where are you taking them? What will they have?"

Thinking in terms of the well being of our descendants alters the urgency we feel in decision-making, and it brands those decisions with the wisdom of sustainability. 

If we took the long view of sustainability in our daily decision-making, how might 
our organizations, 
our communities, 
our “tribes” and 
our families 

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