Saturday, July 6, 2013

Silos and Networks

I've had several conversations lately that lament the siloed nature of  much of life. We live in so many insulated groups and communities. Working to do great things to be sure, but also working to preserve the group and it's distinction from all the other folks out there doing great things. Here I'm thinking of religious communities, do-gooder communities, ministries, service organizations. We became mega-communities, self-contained, and doing great work, chugging along without much connection to those around us who are on the same road.

I'm grateful that all around I see the growing interesting networks. We connect with others who are living spiritually meaningful lives, doing good, or building community or working for social justice, for peace and for sustainability. I find that by connecting with others, by building relationships, I am strengthened personally and I have more energy for building up my own group.

I don't see this as breaking down to individualism, where each person is on their own. I definitely find that connecting in meaningful communities and groups is important. And when these communities and groups can network into communities of communities, then there is an amazing synergy that can develop. This can happen on-ground and online. It can happen formally and informally through conversation, celebration and common projects.

I see us moving from a world of larger and larger siloed mega-groups into smaller, agile, autonomous groups that are networked in meaningful relationships with other groups on a variety of fronts. I see in this a mirror of the way God made our natural world. Plants, trees, animals all live together in mutually beneficial relationships. And God saw that it was good.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Amy, I've found what you are pointing to, to be particularly resonant in my activist relationships which include many more age peers who are engaged spiritually while working for justice through direct action. I find when I report to the larger community of sisters (whose ability to participate in direct action is highly limited) they appreciate so very much the connection to the on the ground action. "If you are there, we are there" is the response. Getting that kind of support from my local congregation while expanding our communal sense of relationship feels very right for our times.