Entries in possibilities (1)

Wednesday
Dec092009

Foundational ideas

We believe that human beings, as they interact over time, generate patterns of behavior and relationship that characterize their co-existence.  These patterns come to be known as the “culture” of the group. 

In HSD, patterns are defined as similarities, differences, and relationships that have meaning across space and time. Whether those relationships are formed in families, communities, organizations, or nations, patterns of interaction and behavior bind people together in their similarities and set them apart by making them unique.  As a member of a group, I define myself by these patterns.  Politics, religion, and national priorities are just a few of the patterns that are played out at all levels of human existence and give meaning to individuals’ lives.

We believe that human beings influence those patterns as we respond to triggers and events around us.  When we experience a pattern positively and return to it frequently, we amplify that pattern, increasing the chances that it will continue to grow.  For instance, humans seek the safety and comfort of family and community.  Because of what those relationships offer us, we continue to build and honor them, increasing the chances that those patterns will be preserved and expanded. 

Possibilities are defined as unspecified qualities that hold unbounded promise.  We believe that human beings can and do influence patterns in their lives.  Further, if they come to understand dynamics of those patterns, they can take intentional steps to shift those patterns and influence real change in their lives.

We are not saying we are fully in control of patterns of life.  Those patterns are generated by actions and interactions beyond our own influence, so we cannot hope to control everything that happens in our world.

What we can do, however, is take steps to influence patterns in our immediate spheres.  In our moment-by-moment interactions, we choose our responses.  We choose to move toward self or other; we choose to move toward health or not; we choose to move toward or away from long-term or short-term fitness in our environment.

The choices we make about patterns in our lives create possibility.  Each individual makes choices.  Families and communities make choices.  Nations make choices about what is or can be possible.  That is our focus. 

How can we participate—at every scale of living and interaction—to identify, describe, and influence patterns in our lives to bring about the greatest possibilities for each of us as individuals?  As partners and colleagues?  As siblings and friends?  As Americans or as members of the global family?