Respecting Shared Ecosystems- The True Measure Of Success

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It’s the end of the year.

Humans look at the passing of a year as their accomplishment. They even celebrate birthdays at the end of every year since the day that they were born. They count time, as if it were their accomplishment, even when they had nothing to hold it still or to make it move!

No wonder, they get it all wrong. 

They do not celebrate their relationships with each other and the world around them. Certainly not the way they celebrate time, anyway. Their relationships as communities, families, friends, learners, farmers, or foresters. Even though hold it is their accomplishment to hold them still or to make them move.

They have forgotten how to find joy, or value, in relationships. 

They do not celebrate the shared purposes of the relationships they are a part of. They do not seek out shared purposes. They do not recognize the shared purposes as the common reason to be part of relationships. They almost never articulate their shared purposes.

The idea of independence has colonized their relationships so that the idea of interdependence implied in shared purposes is not just alien, it is repulsive to many of them. 

They design organizations and a world that do not recognize relationships, or shared purposes but are driven by individual purposes, transactions, and performance indicators that have little or nothing to do with the shared purposes of their relationships.

They do not even recognize these relationships as the systems they must sustain, especially if they value the shared purposes. After all systems are the relationships they engage in with others to some purpose. They are symbiotic, if they share the same purposes, exploitative, if they don’t. 

They do not recognize the events that they experienced in the year, are the result of their interactions in the systems they are a part of.

They do not recognize that the sequence of events, or behaviors, result from their interactions in these systems. They do not recognize that if the year unfolded events that they found joyous, or disappointing, were the result of their interactions in the system. 

They look at the year as having been successful or a failure depending on how many symptoms they could make disappear. The faster they can hide symptoms, the more powerful, and successful, they consider themselves. 

No wonder they focus on rates of actions, not on enduring pursuits towards common purposes. They would rather push away a conversation about the shared purpose of their system, the basis of their interactions, in favor for any action that makes them forget about that, fast. It wouldn’t cross their mind that the problems, or undesirable events, are the result of their designs that drive their interactions. If they were to change the design of our interactions, their problems may change, or even disappear.

They forget that the designs of their interactions must respect the shared purpose of each of these systems. They forget the importance of interactions that serve these purposes.

They do not recognize the lifetimes of the dozens of systems, even hundreds, that they are a part of. They focus on symptoms. The symptoms that cry of attention. The symptoms that keep them focused on the short term. No wonder they miss the Short Now, the lifetime of a child born now.

The trees, streams, or air do not ask what other trees, streams or air did or are doing. They recognize the shared purpose of ecosystems.

They celebrate interdependence. They continue to do what they need to do in order to serve a shared purpose of thriving in the ecosystem. They do not hide the symptoms of water surplus or shortage, of air pollution or water pollution, of crowding. They continue to do whatever it is that they do, they continue to play their role to the best of their abilities. They do not measure time; they do not measure the rate of their actions. They do not create indicators that tell them of their progress, they simply do what they do. They do not look at successes or failures as the number of symptoms they could make disappear. In fact, to them, the only success is the resilience and sustainability of the ecosystem. Because, to them, that is all that matters. That is the only accomplishment that counts.

When will humans stop looking at the passing of a year as their accomplishment?

When will they stop celebrating birthdays at the end of every year since the day that they were born? When will their organizations and a world be designed to recognize their relationships, or shared purposes?

When will they stop being driven by individual purposes, transactions, and performance indicators that have little or nothing to do with the shared purposes of their relationships? When will they count their relationships, the systems they sustain, the common purposes they find, instead of time, as their accomplishment? 

When will the end of the year not matter more than the systems?

When will they be worth being identified as homo sapiens, the wise?

~~

#All views expressed in this column are the authors and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them, 

Anupam Saraph

Anupam Saraph

Dr. Anupam Saraph grew up in a Pune that was possibly a tenth of its current expanse and every road was lined by 200 year old trees. He’s committed to the cause of de-addicting the short-termers.

He can be reached @AnupamSaraph
Anupam Saraph

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