As the old saying goes, "the flapping of a butterfly's wings in China has an effect on the weather in New York." Everything you do--from breathing to releasing the waste from your body to what you eat and how you love--makes a difference in this world. You, the reader, are not an isolated variable existing out there in "la-la" land. You are an instrumental part of this planet, of this universe. While complexity theories alongside chaos theories and holographic physics may be hard for you to understand, the importance of what they ultimately say about you in relation to the world is powerful in terms of helping to build a sense of connectedness. The best cure for the alienation, isolation, and insufficiency experienced by modern humans lies in returning like penitent prodigals to the embrace of our Mother Nature.
It is interesting that a sense of belonging is seen as a primary condition for the growth of a healthy person. The drive for belonging begins at the mother's breast. Indeed, as the old Harlow experiments revealed, monkeys that were fed from soft terry cloth mothers were less neurotic than those that were fed by wire meshed mothers. Our industrial world that has been destroying this planet is a reflection of the wire meshed mother's. The neuroticisms we have that manifest in everything from drug and alcohol addition to shop-till-you-drop behaviors are all the results of our being raised on a wire meshed mother that is non-responsive to its baby's needs.
We must encourage a new mother, one that is more than having a terry cloth over top a cage....but one that is a living and breathing mother. We must do this in how we parent our children while realizing the Earth Herself is also a Mother. Indeed, as complexity theory predicts, the health of the part is instrumental to the health of the whole.
To save the world, and to save our children from further deterioration, we must first start at home, with and within ourselves. In that personal change, we will become instrumental to the change that will foster a healthy world.
To listen to an Envision This! interview of Jennifer Wells, who so richly develops the intimate relationship between complexity and sustainability in multiple contexts and perspectives, please visit:
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Wells, Jennifer, Complexity and Sustainablity Routledge, New York, NY 10017