As I reflect on last Monday’s post, A retreat from the retreat, I realize that my experience is a fractal of the city experience. It is a smaller version of the same thing. I had a sense of where I wanted to go, I had some learning to do along the way, and I ended up somewhere that I could not have predicted. It emerged. Whether I organize as an individual, or as part of an organization or at the scale of a city, nation or planet, we are doing the same thing.
These three aspects of organizing our self and selves are each critical. Without a destination in mind, pulling us along, we don’t go anywhere. The power of knowing that we want to be somewhere other than ‘here’ is essential.
Movement toward that destination is a learning journey that includes both the process by which I see the destination as well as the journey I undertake to get to the destination.
With all of this, we live with great uncertainty in the world. We never know what will come, who we will be in response to what comes and who we will become. As a result, we may never get to an exact destination. Or, we may not get there the way we had planned. Uncertainty requires that we learn along the way. It also means that we don’t know the destination precisely either; it reveals itself over time.
Destination emerges as a result of our learning journey. While it might not be the exact destination aimed for, in hindsight we recognize that we travelled in the right direction. The trip was about moving in a direction, not getting to a specific predetermined destination. This does not undermine the value of having a destination in mind, however. It is the critical element that pulls us into the future we desire.
We have a choice before us about how to live with these three aspects of organizing ourselves. Most significantly, we have a choice to make about how we nurture each of these elements as individuals and collectives. We can create habitats for them to work well with each other. We can create habitats for them to work well with us, organizing ourselves for unknown possibilities of our choosing.