I remember so clearly the light bulb that went off over my head when I learned about Systems Theory in a Public Policy class. It was both illuminating and life changing — one of those AH HA moments in life.
Since that day, the connections between various elements in a system jump out at me constantly, as if I put on special glasses that force me to always see things in context.
Everyone and everything is always being influenced and impacted by everything and everyone that is around us. My choices and your choices impact the whole system, and everyone in it.
Nothing happens in isolation. Think in terms of tossing a pebble into a pond — the ripples spread throughout and not just at the point of contact.
That explains why I struggle to mind my own business. When you realize that all individual choices have broad consequences, your business actually is also my business — and the business of the rest of our pond as well.
How much money does it cost to show a dog? Lots. If others have to spend more because a dog who is ineligible wins and takes the points away due to his humans’ lying and cheating ways, people are being robbed in more ways than one.
Should I care? Is that my business?
What is the impact on a sport when people cheat? Does that matter?
And what is the impact on a soul — including mine — when you are expected to keep secrets, thereby becoming complicit in stealing from other people within our own community?
If we know of a wrongdoing and it is hurting others, are we obligated to tell?
But I also believe in being respectful of the rights of others, and giving the benefit of doubt. Sometimes those things war with the need to protect the broader interests of the pond, so to speak.
Education — whether gathered through formal channels or life experiences — can be inconvenient and force challenging complexity on us.
There are times that I wish I could remove these Systems Theory lenses and see the world in black-and-white because sometimes the wild colors of the connections between all of us give me a serious ethical headache.
#dontcheat #secretsneverstaysecret #justdotherightthing