Tag Archive: perspective

August 29, 2017

Letting Go for Life, Liveliness and Possibility, Part 2: Steps and Supports

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out, and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

–Cynthia Occelli 

Photo by lloriquita1, shared under the provision of Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.

In the late spring, we had an unseasonably sticky stretch of days where I live, and after school one day, my wife and I took our girls to a local swim hole to cool down. As we eased into the cold water, one of our seven-year-old twins clutched desperately to my torso, not yet willing to put more than a toe or foot in. As the sun beat down, I began to feel both the weight of her body and the ebb of my patience, and I managed to negotiate her to a standing position in water that came to her waist. She continued to clutch my arm vice-like with both of her hands.

After another few minutes it was definitely time for me to go under water. But Maddie was unwilling to release me. I continued to encourage her to let go first, to get her head and shoulders wet. Initially totally reluctant, she got to a point where she was in just up to her neck but was still anxiously squeezing my hand. We did a bit of a dance for a few minutes where she would get to the end of my finger tips with her right hand, seemingly ready to take the plunge, and then the same part-anticipatory part-terrorized expression came to her face and she was back against me.

I kept coaxing her, and then let her know that whether she let go or not, I was going under, and if she was still holding on to me, that she would be doing the same. “Okay, okay!” she yelled, stamping her feet and once again got to the tips of my fingers while breathing rapidly. And this time … she let go. She pushed off and immersed her entire body in the water. She came up shrieking but with a big smile on her face, a bit shocked but also more at home in the water, moving around quite gracefully, actually. She splashed me and laughed and then I dived in. A few minutes later she was swimming along next to me.

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June 29, 2011

The Ps of Regenerativity

“It is time we recognized that ‘the system’ is how we work together.”

Yaneer Bar-Yam

NECSI

|Image from Carlos Gershenson|http://complexes.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html|

I’m writing this post from Quincy, Massachusetts where I’m attending the International Conference on Complex Systems. My head is very full and there is much to process that will no doubt spur further posts.  A question I brought with me into these proceedings is what we are learning from complexity (in fields such as systems biology, network theory, epidemiology) about developing stronger collective regenerative capacity, the ability to work with each other and our various contexts in order to both survive and thrive (co-evolve).  So here is a first take, in alliterative fashion: Read More

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April 25, 2011

Experiment with Empathy

We are wired for connection.  You give us the internet and we turn it into the largest web of connections that has ever existed.  Each of us has mirror neurons, “neurons that mirror the behavior of  another, as though the observer were itself acting.”  Empathy is our highest capacity – the vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.  Our highest levels of development come with a heightened capacity to see and experience truth in other perspectives and at other levels. Read More

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August 10, 2010

The Power of Conversation

In this 10 minute video, Jack Ricchiuto, a friend of IISC’s, successfully distills the four conversations that build community and gives us a glimpse into the shadow conversations that keep us from success.  Evidently influenced by Peter Block, Ricchiuto is part of a wave of organization and community builders that have been inviting us to look at our work from a different lens.

Jack names the following four conversations with power: Read More

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May 6, 2010

Collaboration for Sustainability 3: Who?

collab 4

|Photo by jordigraells|http://www.flickr.com/photos/jordigraells/2097554407|

“In dealing with complex problems, our ability may be bounded, but our diversity is not. Diversity – be it based on identity, training or vocation — may be our best asset.”

– Scott E. Page

In last Thursday’s post, we talked about the importance of developing a shared identity among stakeholders, and doing this early in a collaborative process, as a way of developing greater commitment to collective interests as well as bolstering the inclination to think about and act in accordance with more long-term risks and benefits. Clearly more needs to be said about the WHO that is engaged in this work and how this aligns with sustainability.

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