The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Frameworks for possibility

The sun was shining, it was a perfect moment to go out and explore a bit of the surrounding. As I entered a forest nearby I found a sign sharing some details about the spot. As I read through it I marveled at the way I was designed.

It gave orientation by giving an idea of where I was. That idea was less about the exact place I was standing in, then about where it is located and what it is about.

It was helping me understand what a natural forest is about and that I was about to enter such a space. And once I had read that I was being told why this place was exactly where I was. The description allowed making sense of that forest and allowed to see how they were making use of such a forest in the long term. Instead of using it as any other forest, it had become one teaching us about how nature behaves and evolves.

Having learned that the forest does something on its own and is being observed in that process, the invitation I could read next felt natural. I was invited to explore it by staying on the given paths. And I was being told that the paths had been laid out for me to explore them. With some additional facts about that specific space, I had received the purpose of this forest as well as the way I could benefit and connect with it. I felt invited, welcome, and part of what was happening in this space.

To make things complete they had included an additional layer of description: the exact rules as they had been laid out for this type of forest. By combining an invitation of how to enter the forest with the laws applying when entering the space, they had given an instruction manual and a path to accountability.

In a way, they were establishing a framework of possibility.

They framed possibility by showing the meaning of the space I was going to enter. They were also giving instructions on how I could use that possibility. Last but not least, they invited me to see where and how I could stay on track and I would be off track.

I appreciated this invitation to my responsibility as it allowed me to see why the behavior suggested was relevant.

At the same time, they acknowledged that there was also a legal obligation to follow that invitation. That would remain true if nobody would see me stepping off the path or not. It was up to me to see it as a threat, obligation, or an explanation.

The sign served its purpose to include me in how people like us do things in the forest.


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