"In a system like community, every part is related to every other part and change in one part will lead to change in other parts."
"In community a small action can have a very large impact... or vice versa."
Both of these quotes were taken from When butterflies flap their wings: Community and contradiction by Juan C. Moreno, University of Minnesota Executive Service.
For our first official sit down class while here in South Africa, we were asked to read the above text. This particular text, along with this particular class, focused on the idea of community and what it takes to create, build, and maintain a community. While discussing this in class, Nate asked us to discuss which ideas expressed by Moreno stood out to us the most. The two that I have listed above have stood out to me.
I have only recently really begun to understand the impact that my actions have upon others. I can honestly say that I have always had a heightened sensitivity to the feelings of others and that I try my best to not cause conflict or to do anything that causes any sort of physical or emotional harm to other human beings. However, I had never realized that even the smallest of actions... or the lack of action... can truly effect the world around me. Not only is this possible, it is inevitable.
The two quotes that I listed above really sum up this idea. The truth is.. no matter who a person is... no matter where they came from... no matter what their intentions are in any sort of situation... any actions that they make... or any actions that they neglect to take part in... can and will impact the people and the environment around them. This is so important to realize because it forces us to take the time to be aware of the consequences of our actions. By having a heightened awareness, we open our eyes to the realities of the world that we had never imagined before. In turn, this gives us ground to stand on in order to bring about positive change.
Awareness is both beautiful and complicated. It is beautiful in the sense that it opens us up to unknown worlds and truths. It is complicated because that sense of openess is also a call to action in cases of injustice or when something simply needs fixing. But we must not shy away from awareness. It is vital that we know the realities of the world. It is vital that we realize how we specifically impact the world. It is in this knowledge that we can begin to grow and to create a world that is worth living in.