Finding out how much you’re shaped by the others who are around you could easily be a cause for resignation.
After all, if it’s not all down to you, what’s the point of taking any responsibility for what you do? From here it’s all too easy to attribute everything that happens to ‘the system’ or ‘the culture’.
But that would be too narrow a position to take, by far. Because – even in a complex situation such as an organisation, or a community, or a family – everyone is bringing everyone into being. Like the bodies in a planetary system, each of us is not only subject to the pull and push of others, but is an active part of bringing ourselves and others into our orbits around one another. We don’t have unlimited power to shape what happens around us, but we’re not at all powerless either.
This requires us to take more responsibility, not less. To see change for the better as the result of many small acts of choice – choices that can only start with each of us.
And this is why attending to our development is so important. Because development always includes learning to move from reacting to responding – seeing through our automaticity and becoming more able to be the authors of what we do as the world presents itself to us.