Emergence

Written by Carole Ames July 15th, 2021

Many of us are moving into the recovery phase of the Covid-19 global pandemic, with masks becoming optional, many restrictions being lifted, “work from home” decreasing, and gatherings again possible.  In more pragmatic terms, people are sorting out how to touch each other, the video conferencing boom may be over, and body & hair grooming is in overdrive!
 
We are faced with how and when to re-engage in the world, how to determine our preference in the situations where we now have choice, and how to respond to situations which are really not open for discussion.  We’re like bears gradually awakening after a long winter’s hibernation, but without the genetic coding and epigenetic inheritance!
 
In reflecting on this process and how it is for me, I thought of the word emergence.  Upon delving into it’s meaning, it is even richer than I anticipated:

  • emergence (n) “the fact of something becoming known or starting to exist”; “the fact of someone appearing by coming out from behind something”; “the fact of someone or something coming to the end of a difficult period or experience” (Cambridge Dictionary, July 12, 2021)
  • “In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when an entity is observed to have properties its parts do not have on their own, properties or behaviors which emerge only when the parts interact in a wider whole.” (Wikipedia, July 12, 2021)

When I view our situation in this context, I feel more excited.  I see that, in addition to each of us potentially coming out from our relative isolation, we may be leaving behind that which is no longer needed, we may be moving into connection in various arenas, and we might be contributing to something more that the sum of our parts. Emergence is bursting with potential!
 
Of course this may also be daunting, especially given that we’ve had 16 months of rules and restrictions.  Being now able to choose, and having so much possible, could seem overwhelming.  It’s why some folks tend to prefer black and white living – life is relatively clear, and there’s someone to blame if things go poorly!  On the other hand, as Eleanor Roosevelt said so many years ago, “…with freedom comes responsibility”.   
 
However you look at it, we are in a period of emergence.  Whether you choose to burrow deeper into whatever cocoon you’ve created, pounce upon everyone you meet for hugs and cuddles, take steps to make social, environmental or political change, or burst forth with vigor and pajama bottoms, this is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime (in fact, once-in-a-century) opportunity.  Let’s see what we can do with it.

Original article by Carole Ames published on: creativepursuits.ca

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