And so it’s understandable, but disheartening, to see how often we’re moved to respond to situations that are simple, complicated, complex and chaotic as if straightforward cause and effect would explain it, or as if it’s possible to know exactly what to do.
Explaining the world by this-caused-that or pretending to be an expert who knows the answer, or saying that there is no answer ignores the complexity and chaos that is the nature of so much of the world.
Doing this makes us feel better. Perhaps it dulls our fear and uncertainty.
But it robs us of so much of the human ingenuity, care and creativity we need.
It keeps us small.
Responding to terrorism, and war, and climate change, and poverty, and social justice… and loving, and being in a relationship, or in a family, and working with colleagues, and leading an organisation… all of these require our ability to respond to complexity and chaos, as well as our expertise. All require our capacity to experiment, create, listen deeply, take risks, and learn as we go. And none of these are easy while we’re committed to reducing the world to a giant machine where someone or something is to blame for all the difficulties that face us.