“The most indicative metric of a community’s health is the cross-pollination of stakeholders.” – Brian Watson, AVC.com
Our society is perfectly willing to break down everything into its parts, analyze the gears, and then put them back together to see if they work better. Somewhere in the process, we forget the purpose is to put the parts back together with better arrangements so they will work more effectively as the whole.
But we are obsessed with the parts, aren’t we?
Since our ingenious human mind went to work to deconstruct reality into metaphysical planks, we misplaced that grander purpose of recognizing the whole. We see a clock in its parts and are marveled by the intricate gears and details; but a clock in its parts does not tell time. Society in its parts does not succeed. The metaphysical planks are not ideas in motion. Seeing things broken down into parts does not facilitate change. It merely perpetuates the glorified “busy” that permeates modern society.
And so we stay busy to be in separate parts of this grandiose idea of a universe.
This rings true with all forms of sustainable thinking, doesn’t’ it? A LEED consultant does nothing for sustainability if he does not consider the creatures that will dwell within the buildings; an environmental advocate does nothing for the planet if she does not contemplate the starving children so frequently featured on TV infomercials at 4AM. A politician does nothing for his constituent if he does not believe in social advocacy is meant for the poor and the weak; a business tycoon is not a true business entrepreneur if he does not think his profits reach beyond the mighty dollar to touch the world in meaningful ways.
So we ponder the question why we break things apart to study them and why we compete with one another to be better and faster and more qualified to do the jobs in separate silos. So we wonder why can’t we come together, cultivate our ecosystem, and build something together?
For further reading, please visit: http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/cultivate_your_ecosystem