Sunday, September 23, 2012

Systems


I'm taking an environmental science class and we've been discussing systems. An interesting idea that's been highlighted is that matter never goes away, it just changes form - over and over again - within a system.

Life is like that, too: relationships, activities, how we spend our time, the way we treat ourselves, the way we treat each other.

If you're alive, you're in a system. In a system nothing ever goes away, it just changes form and gets passed around, affecting the environment (positively or negatively), affecting others, affecting you...


It's like the biosphere project, only we can't always see or measure the stuff floating around in our system because we've gotten pretty good at ignoring, or recreating reality - we humans have mastered the art of self-distraction...

Unfortunately, we also believe - like a baby who covers her eyes and believes that no one can see her - that reality is limited to what we can see, or experience.

How different are we, as stewards, when we acknowledge that the matter we're putting out into our system will remain, or that the form we are shaping matter into affects others?

A principal I've learned about in my class is the Principal of Least Toxic Alternative, which states that when an intervention has been determined to be necessary, the one that does the least amount of harm to all living creatures should be the first option. I think that's a great principal to incorporate into all other aspects of life, too.

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