The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The desire for justice

As a kid, I remember hearing my mother explain to me how important it was for her that none of us would receive more presents than the other. In her mind, she was trying to be just. I remember that this seemed to me to be a good idea, however, the practice was not that persuasive. I didn’t pay attention to the justice in distribution, what interested me more was if I would like them or not.

It’s a lesson that served me well as working with groups never meant for me to give everyone an equal amount of time, it seemed much more important to me, to give participants my full attention when they asked for something. My task was to figure out what they needed and asked for and to do my best to deliver it. And at the same time to use whatever was coming up to the benefit of the whole group.

What this lesson also taught me, was that I’ll never be able to give everyone exactly what they were asking for. As long as the individuals had felt seen and as belonging to the group, what mattered to them, was that the group was making progress together.

Looking at the way groups interact, it became clear, that justice rarely is an issue.

However, if envy shows up, it quickly becomes a problem.



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