EppsNet Archive: Understanding

3 Possibilities

29 Feb 2016 /

From The Possibilities of Organization by Barry Oshry (with very slight modification):

Possibility I. Internal Warfare

We can misunderstand one another’s worlds; we can misinterpret one another’s behavior; we can see malice, insensitivity and incompetence behind one another’s actions; we can see ourselves as the well-intentioned, blameless, helpless victims of other people and of circumstances; we can act accordingly and go to war with one another.

Possibility II. Understanding and Accommodation

We can see into, comprehend, accept and adjust to one another’s worlds; we can accommodate to others, acting in ways that make it possible, easy even, for them to do what we need them to do in order for us to move ahead with our work; we can see the “stuff” that comes at us from others as the behavior of people struggling to cope with and survive in the unique conditions of their worlds; we can choose NOT to get hooked on that stuff; we can stay in the Center Ring and not get drawn off into the drama of the Side Show; we can accomplish our goals by easing the conditions of others.

Possibility III. Transformation

We can refuse to accept and accommodate to the familiar realities; we can say NO to the predictable responses to the common conditions of life; we can create new responses and new, more powerful realities in which we are not burdened, we are not oppressed, and we are not torn. We can become central to creating what out lives will be.


What Are Friends For?

27 Sep 2015 /

A young man once approached Socrates and asked to be given knowledge and understanding. Socrates took him down to the seashore, led him into the water and forced his head under the waves. The youth struggled and when his resistance had nearly stopped, Socrates dragged him up on the shore.

Later, the youth asked why Socrates had acted as he did.

“When you were under the water, what was the one thing you wanted more than anything else?” asked Socrates.

“Air,” was the reply.

“When you want knowledge and understanding as badly as you wanted air,” said Socrates, “you won’t have to ask anyone to give it to you.”


Dare to Be Wise

2 Mar 2013 /

Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding.

— Immanuel Kant