122 Slices
Medium 9781605097312


Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Here are the primary resources we used for this book. If you wish to learn more about the people, places and issues introduced here, please visit www.walkoutwalkon.net, where we provide many additional resources.

Alexander, Christopher. A Timeless Way of Building. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Art of Hosting, www.artofhosting.org.

Axladitsa-Avatakia, www.axladitsa.org.

The Berkana Institute, www.berkana.org.

Bonfil Batalla, Guillermo. México Profundo: Reclaiming a Civilization. Trans. Philip A. Dennis. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996.

Brown, Juanita, and David Isaacs. The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2005.

Cass, Phil, and Toke Møller. “Affordable, Sustainable Healthcare in Columbus, Ohio.” Ravi Tangri, July 19, 2007, www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxK51N_IwlY&NR=1 (accessed October 27, 2010).

Centro Indígena de Capacitación Integral (CIDECI), http://cideci.blogspot.com.

Community Shelter Board, www.csb.org.

Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN). EZLN: Otro Mundo Es Posible. Imagen MX. (Acquired in 2007 from Zapatista movement.)

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Medium 9781576754054

Maybe You Will Be the Ones

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I am on Lake Powell in the southwestern United States, drifting along the border of Utah and Arizona, wondering about America’s next fifty years. I am floating in deep red rock canyons that are several hundred million years old. Whenever I look up from my computer, I see awesome slick rock wantonly displaying its entire evolutionary history.

These rocks are here today because the beaches of ancient seas were compressed into sedimentary rock that formed into thousands of layers that then were uplifted by massive earth upheavals to form these towering red mountains, which were carved into canyons by relentless rivers ten million years ago.

I tell this just to keep things in perspective.

Lake Powell highlights more than evolutionary time—it was created by human imagination wedded to unwavering arrogance. In the 1950s, American engineers dammed several canyons and rivers in order to produce electricity, create reservoirs and develop recreational areas. Lake Powell was created by flooding Glen Canyon. Next on the list to be dammed was the Grand Canyon! We were spared that incomprehensible act because of public outrage at the loss of Glen Canyon.

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Medium 9781576750506

A Simpler Way

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

This world of a simpler way is a world we already know. We may not have seen it clearly, but we have been living in it all our lives. It is a world that is more welcoming, more hospitable to our humanness. Who we are and what is best about us can more easily flourish.

The world we had been taught to see was alien to our humanness. We were taught to see the world as a great machine. But then we could find nothing human in it. Our thinking grew even stranger – we turned this world-image back on ourselves and believed that we too were machines.

Because we could not find ourselves in the machine world we had created in thought, we experienced the world as foreign and fearsome. Alienation spawned the need to dominate. Fear led to control. We wanted to harness and control everything. We tried, but it did not stop the fear. Mistakes threatened us; failed plans ruined us; relentless mechanistic forces demanded absolute submission.

There was little room for human concerns.

But the world is not a machine. It is alive, filled with life and the history of life.

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Medium 9781609945367

14 Warriors at Work

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Warriors look like normal people.
Our true identity doesn’t get revealed by sudden costume changes.

To colleagues and family, it looks like we’re still the same; going to meetings, filing reports, applying for grants, complying with regulations, teaching, healing, researching, leading. But inside, we’ve changed radically. We now work from different maps and expectations. We no longer think like most other people. We’ve recognized how lost we are, that no matter how hard we try, this world cannot be saved. We know that things will not calm down, that crises will not diminish, that leaders will not behave rationally, that global problems will not be resolved. We see clearly that there is no way out of the life-destroying cycles set in motion many years ago.

Yet we are not oppressed by this clarity. We’ve opened to the world as it is and discovered gentleness, decency, and bravery. We’ve discovered that humans are worth struggling for and can even be delightful company. We were invited to contemplate a new role for ourselves and accepted the invitation. Perhaps it felt natural to think of ourselves as warriors for the human spirit, perhaps it felt like a stretch, but here we are, looking just the same on the outside, transformed on the inside.

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Seven Hundred Years to Go

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Dalai Lama told a group of my colleagues not to be anxious.
The work we’re doing now, he said, will bear fruit in seven hundred years.

We awake in a brave new world and we don’t
know what we did. For years, images in our
periphery hovered, haunting, compelling us be brave.
We turned to embrace them and they vanished with our effort.
By this pursuit, we bred our own exhaustion.

Hope wedded us to loss. Lost words,
lost colleagues, lost clarity. In loss we
cowered, sometimes together, often alone,
in the dark cave where the future shadowed us,
history at our back, promise
glimmering at the entrance.

And now the future is streaming through the walls,
consuming our faint fires, beckoning us move outside
to this bright geography so obviously real.
Now it is the present calling, not
the future, and we are hovering at the entrance,
blinded by this sudden illumination.
After years of living with immobilized
imagination, this present is perplexing.
Strange now to be sought by a
world we had been seeking, to be greeted by
companions after so much time alone,
to have arrived and now feel lost.
Why is this new world suddenly here?
Was it our great efforting, our
careful, crafted work, our
small acts of cautious daring that
brought us here? Yes.

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