The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Caring for boundaries

There is a lot of merit to paying attention to boundaries.

Boundaries allow delimiting one area from another. The boundary acts within the relationship.

Setting such a boundary serves as a protection. Someone wanting to go beyond that boundary will need a passport. Showing the passport serves as a request to enter.

Passports are the agreed-upon tool to do so when it comes to entering a country. Knocking on the door is the agreed-upon ritual to ask to enter a room. In a relationship, it mostly is questions that serve as passport.

In all these cases, the ability to cross the boundary is the result of a negotiation.

The permeability of the boundary helps to see how far-reaching the need for protection is. The protection serves against others or from others.

Boundaries also serve us to know what is in a space and what isn’t. The boundary is set around a relationship. It defines who belongs to the relationship and how.

Taking a country, for example, there are individuals holding a passport of that country. They may live in it but it’s not necessary. The citizens will be those who live within the country and the tourists will be those who only live temporarily in that country. It is similar in an organization, there are the owners, the employees, and people contributing temporarily. In a relationship between individuals, things are similar but here the boundaries are defined by the context in which the relationship is put. It can be defined internally as it is for friendships and partnerships. Or it can be defined externally as is the case for social media connection.

These boundaries are there to protect the relationships existing within the boundaries as well as those who belong to the relationship.

Both types of boundaries are useful. We need them both.

Protection from one another and the protection of the relationship.

Lacking attention for one of them will either make the other hermetic or dissolve it.


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