We all want to make a difference. We come from our hearts yet we still find it hard to see the heart in others. We believe ourselves, but we don't believe in others. this means we are all going in slightly different ways just because we don't know, don't trust others. If we can all act in concert, then we can have a bigger and faster impact to make the needed shift.
I'm not advocating blind trust. to trust we have to be willing to ask hard questions, but what if we could agree on a platform of values/principles that would get us all working in the same way? In the past we have used religion as a focusing tool, but that doesn't seem to work for all of us. Is there something else we could use where talking about the possible differences in understanding would not be so threatening?
I think there is and I'm excited about the potential. I'm talking about nature. Mother nature has a loooooong history of supporting life! She's bee able to go from simple organisms to very complex ones. She's gone from simple systems to complex ones. She seems to be getting better and better at supporting life.
We, on the other hand, don't seem to get it. We get in her way and try and block her at every turn. We don't like her 'telling' us what to do or what not to do, and while we see the results, we keep on keepin on. Maybe it's time to think differently.
Listening to her and following her directives has worked for millennia, I'm betting it will continue to work now. She's fine, it's us that needs to change. Join me as I explore the values and principles she lives by and how they might impact how we live, if we so choose
Every Friday at 10:30 am PDT on Facebook (http://facebook.com/bridgetopartnership) I explore a value/principle developed by both indigenous thinking and supported by science that showcases the subtle but significant shift we need t make to keep life thriving on the planet. I'd love to have you join me.
So sorry folks, but the ‘people’ are any wiser or emotionally healthy than the ‘elites’ and maybe quite at bit less educated, so no I don’t trust the ‘people’ to make any better decisions than anyone else. Given the choice of a ‘strong’ man for president, one who had only his own interest at heart, one who made it ‘OK’ to be misogynistic and colonialistic, I don’t see enough wisdom and compassion there to be trustworthy.
I get it! It’s frustrating to feel left behind, to feel voiceless (hey, I’m a woman after all) but the utter lack of compassion and empathy will simply not work, in the long run, no matter who is professing such behavior. From a systems perspective bottoms can look up and see what’s not working and how things might be structured differently – something tops can rarely see on their own but seeing something as not working and doing something about it are two different things.
Discernment is something that seems to come with age. Some people are old from the beginning and I believe discernment can be taught, but it’s a rare commodity. Religion, philosophy, and education of all kinds have tried to teach it without much success. Instead of taking agency we seem to choose obedience even though it’s been proven time and time again that obedience doesn’t work. The army has a term for that ‘malicious compliance.’ That’s what you do to get back at officialdom when they discipline you for ‘breaking’ the rules that aren’t working in the first place.
We often can see what’s not working but knowing how to fix it is another story altogether. The Greeks chose philosophy as the method for discernment, and while useful, that hasn’t gotten us very far either. Understanding the ‘other’ is always a barrier to both respect and caring. Intuiting the experience of someone else is an unusual skill indeed and one few have and few even see as needed. We expect everyone to ‘be like us.’
A big part of living a long life, I believe, is learning about people and being able to see things from another’s perspective. Still the wide variety in human understanding and creativity has led me to believe that you just never really know what someone else is going to think or how they will understand the same experience we both just had. The key, I think, is openness.
Systems thinking suggests that all living systems determine who they are by the boundaries they create. As babies we are constantly trying to decipher who we are and who our parents think we are or want us to be. As we get older society and our friends become the sources of new perspectives about who we might be. One of the insights from this kind of thinking is that there is actually a relationship between an entity and its environment. There is an openness that allows for ‘fit.’ For some, and for others as they age, keeping that relationship fluid is more difficult. For me, a Scorpio – a fixed sign, I’ve learned to keep my boundaries open through curiosity and a strong desire to learn. I’ve also learned to NOT make decisions. Once I’ve decided, I’m quite unmovable, or said another way, moving is painful. I simply take the action that seems best under the circumstances and so far, that’s worked well.
Ah discernment, what works well? How do you know? I’ve spent over 70 years trying to understand how I know that, and it was only in looking at the Earth and nature that I got it. The yardstick I use to measure is life. What brings, allows, engenders the most life into any situation is a good measure of its long-term success. It also is a step into the kind of world I want to live in – one where life is joyous, vibrant and robust!
Kathryn Alexander, MA
Regenerative approaches require a deep integration with nature. Collaboration requires different structures and ways of working together. If we want different results we have to do things differently!