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We are all part of this system


October 30, 2018

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By M. R. Simons

Donella Meadows, a well- known systems analyst, for whom an institute at Dartmouth College was named, wrote these words in a manuscript of her unpublished book, interrupted by her death in 2001.
Dancing With Systems
“Living successfully in a world of complex systems means expanding not only time horizons and thought horizons; above all it means expanding the horizons of caring. There are moral reasons for doing that, of course. And if moral arguments are not sufficient, systems thinking provides the practical reasons to back up the moral ones. The real system is interconnected. No part of the human race is separate either from other human beings or from the global ecosystem. It will not be possible in this integrated world for your heart to succeed if your lungs fail, or for your company to succeed if your workers fail, or for the rich in Los Angeles to succeed if the poor in Los Angeles fail, or for Europe to succeed if Africa fails, or for the global economy to succeed if the global environment fails.
As with everything else about systems, most people already know the interconnections that make moral and practical rules to be the same rules. They just have to bring themselves to believe what they know.”