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Broken Systems and Personal Responsibility


We all think we are right. As divisive as that may be, it's also beautiful. In a way it's our fuel that propels us forward in life. Without conviction, perhaps we'd be left with stagnation. Or worse, apathy. Beyond that certainty though, there must be a space to accommodate an alternative viewpoint. We must invite in the possibility that there is so much that we simply do not know.  

It's difficult to see the broad spectrum and the higher vision when we are all looking out through our individual windows. We want to name things and people as "good" or "bad" but that creates a larger mess than the one we are trying to tidy in the first place. 

No system will ever be perfect because each system is made up of individuals - all of which have free will. Many of which believe they are right and the other wrong. 

The lesson, work and growth lie in acceptance, empathy and open-mindedness. We can't possibly be right all the time. Anyone who believes that they are is not worth engaging with. 

You can build the "perfect" company, government or yoga studio but eventually the people who run them will make decisions you may not like

Conversely, so many of our broken systems or even ones that are just in need of some repair, can be looked at with hope because beautiful humans who care about evolution, cooperation and love will also be making decisions.

There is a sliding scale inherent to all parts of life. The richness lies in finding the ability to see from many angles, even though we only have the view from our personal window. Stand on your head if you need to. Shake up your vantage point and the same things may look altered, softer. 

Without questioning our motives and intentions for any and all actions, we risk living life from habit and inheritance of that which may not be ours to do, believe or carry on. 

As someone who abhors violence and war, the man I love the most in this world has honorably served in the military for 6 years. That service brought maturity and an expansive view of the world. Finding a way to respect and appreciate an institution that exists for battles has been work for me. It's an interesting place to find the mind.

It's easy to dismiss corporations and institutions with their flaws so abundantly clear. Of course accountability is imperative. But without the companion lesson of looking at your personal motivations, behavior and intentions, the irony is palpable. We the citizens make up the larger whole. We are the drops in the ocean. Starting with ourselves is how change sparks. 

In Cassandra Speaks, Elizabeth Lessor offers extremely constructive templates for facilitating conversations with people who hold dramatically different political and religious views than our own.  

There is information in our fears, in what and who we loathe and in what we detest. Therein lies a metamorphosis, for better or worse.  


Photo by Tara Evans on Unsplash


  • Thanks, Jan!!

    Marjorie Cottrell
  • So wonderfully insightful and philosophical.

    Jan Helen McGee

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