All in Relation

We are in relationship, a reciprocal relationship, with all things. Valuing and ethically using natural resources is not enough. We must use whole systems thinking to honor and design based on natural relationships. By understanding how things are interconnected we can more fully live in relationship with the wonders of the world around us. Natural relationships are the threads that connect us to our past, help us live more mindfully in the present and will help shape the world for our children and our children’s children for generations to come.

Reflection shared by the Center for Youth & Community

Reflection shared with permission by the Center for Youth & Community

We live in a world full of opportunities and abundance that can be responsibly used, valued and enriched. Through whole systems thinking, understanding the interconnectedness of all things past, present and future, we can help regenerate and care of ourselves, others, and Mother Earth. We live in a world where the possibilities are only limited by our imagination and willingness to take action to transform the future.

What do you see when you look around? Food in the pantry, love in your family, books filling shelves, toys spilling out of boxes, clean, drinkable water from your faucets, last night’s leftovers, dirty laundry piled up in your laundry basket, stress at work, plethora of sugar snap peas growing in your garden in summer, or perhaps piles and piles of fallen “tree litter” in autumn. There is surplus all around, some wanted like extra blueberries and others like a surplus of anger or pain… not so much. By approaching challenges in life with the understanding of how all things are in relation, we can learn to channel that which is presently unseen, ignored, unused or even potentially destructive into positive, productive opportunities to nourish life!

Emergent Design

All Things in Relation shared with permission by the Center for Youth & Community

To transform the future, we need to be aware of, care for and wisely use what we have in the present. This is especially true for the surplus that is in our lives. Surplus comes in many forms – physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. For example, when you have an abundance of love and joy, how do you harness and use it? Do you use it, do you take action, to further the care of yourself and others? What about when you have a surplus of stress, sadness or anger? These are not forms of surplus we want to pass on in their current state, so the question becomes, “How do I channel those surplus emotions into something that can be caring towards myself, others and the world?”

All things are in relation. It is only when we understand the traditional wisdom we can take actions that value, honor and responsibly return surplus to nourish life. Through whole systems thinking we can use our knowledge, skills, resources and relationships generate more yields. We enter into a potentially never-ending regenerative cycle. The yields we gain can be used, shared and returned to regenerate and further the care of people and Earth. We make this choice not through just intellectual conversations with children, but meaningful and purposeful action grounded in a connection to all our relations.

Poetry Peek: Reminders

by Jill Lanier, Permie Peeks


That great big puddle at the corner

obstacle to my crossing


Reminds me that

this stranded spring shower remnant

also seeks its purpose:

to return to earth and nurture life


That sludgy liquid

pooled around the sewer grate


Reminds me that

this stagnant trickle was once

part of a million clear raindrops

falling urgently from the sky

during a summer storm


Those piles of leaves

rustling along urban concrete

eddied by autumn winds


Remind me that

they too seek to complete their cycle

beginning / ending in the sky and

ending / beginning in earth’s crumbly

dark womb


That slushy, icy snow

slippery winter nuisance to older bones


Reminds me that

we all have a place and purpose


If we can only find

how we fit


Reminders - Puzzle Montage, v3


 Thanks Phil Dolby for the featured image titled Nature’s Archway (CC-BY 2.0)

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