CP #2: Think Outside the Leaf


I feel challenged to think outside the leaf; or as some of you know it, the box. I think that is what Donella Meadows is trying to tell us in her article “Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System.” (1999)

She speaks about finding mastery over paradigms. I had to google paradigms a few times to wrap my head around the thought, but eventually I came to the conclusion that what Meadows is trying to convey is that a system needs to be overcome. The paradigm of the system, or the typical standard model, needs to be overcome. Mastered. Transcended. CHALLENGED.  When I think of a system, I think big. I think government problems, and world peace. But there are also simple systems. The system of school, the system of your daily routine, or the system of your favourite pen.

Meadows inspires me to say this: Consider the choice you are making, the lesson you are teaching, or the action you are taking and be thoughtful about the system of that item. Overcome the typical system. Be creative, think outside the leaf, do the unexpected and challenge the “should be”. Because based on what she says, “It is in this space of mastery over paradigms that people throw off addictions, live in constant joy, bring down empires, get locked up or burned at the stake or crucified or shot, and have impacts that last for millennia.” (Meadows, 1999) Those ideals sound pretty cool. Except, perhaps, getting locked up or burned at the stake or crucified or shot; those are a little extreme for my taste. However, on top of sounding cool, these things can create a society that thinks deeply, makes change, and instigates a challenge to the paradigm of systems. Let’s be that society.

Meadows, D. (1999) Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System. Retrieved September 23, 2015, from http://www.donellameadows.org/archives/leverage-points-places-to-intervene-in-a-system.


2 thoughts on “CP #2: Think Outside the Leaf

  1. pkuster22 says:

    I really enjoyed your explanation of paradigms and how you broke them down into systems that need to be overcome; I agree that paradigm is a challenging word to understand the concept of, so I appreciate how you explained it in a way I could easily relate to. I also liked how you took your systems theory a step further and provided concrete examples of systems that impact and are utilized in our society, as big as the government, and as small as a pen. These examples allowed me to personally connect and think about the various systems I experience in my own life, and how they all relate to one another, and the problems and successes associated with each. The quote you used in your third paragraph really further extended my thought process, and made me question all the power deeply embedded within our societal systems.
    Very well written blog! I would have liked to hear more of your opinion/ideas on ways you think we could reconstruct and challenge these systems.


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