Polarities

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 1.07.55 PMSometimes, frequently we can’t ‘solve‘ a problem without creating another one. Often we need to manage this, manage polarities, rather than trying to create a singular focused outcome.

Nature and nurture is a classic example. Freedom and responsibility is another one. So many sustainability issues need this type of both-and thinking and the following is a lovely summary of polarity from Seth Godin.

Freedom and Responsibility – Which do you want?

Freedom is the ability to set your schedule, to decide on the work you do, to make decisions.

Responsibility is being held accountable for your actions. It might involve figuring out how to get paid for your work, owning your mistakes or having others count on you.

Freedom without responsibility is certainly tempting, but there are few people who will give you that gig and take care of you and take responsibility for your work as well.

Responsibility without freedom is stressful. There are plenty of jobs in this line of work, just as there are countless jobs where you have neither freedom nor responsibility. These are good jobs to walk away from.

When in doubt, when you’re stuck, when you’re seeking more freedom, the surest long-term route is to take more responsibility.

Freedom and responsibility aren’t given, they’re taken.

In the environmental field, for example, we wish people to be responsible, to be held responsible for impacts. However, we also want to encourage innovation, change and progressive solutions – the types of creativity that are often assisted by freedom.

Quite often the debate is polarised – today’s problems and our future sustainability and environmental repair requires both.

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