The Organic Model of Change by Ken Robinson

28 Jan

discipleship - plant growing

“For more than three hundred years Western thought has been dominated by the images of industrialism and the scientific method. It’s time to change metaphors. We have to move beyond linear, mechanistic metaphors to more organic metaphors of human growth and development.

A living organism, like a plant, is complex and dynamic. Each of its internal processes affects and depends on the others in sustaining the vitality of the whole organism. This is also true of the habits in which we live. Most living things can only flourish in certain types of environment, and the relationships between them are often highly specialized. Healthy, successful plants take the nutrients they need from their environment. At the same time, though, their presence helps to sustain the environment on which they depend. There are exceptions, like the Leyland cypresses that just seem to take over everything in their path, but you get the idea. The same is true of all creatures and animals, including us.

Farmers based their livelihoods on raising crops. But farmers do not make plants grow. They don’t attach the roots, glue on the petals, or color the fruit. The plant grows itself. Farmers and gardeners provide the conditions for growth. Good farmers know what the conditions are, and the bad ones don’t. Understanding the dynamic elements of human growth is as essential to sustaining human cultures into the future as the need to understand the ecosystems of the natural world on which we ultimately depend.”

Ken Robinson (The Element, 2009, pg. 257-258)

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