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Viewing entries tagged with 'Allan Kaplan'

Diversity and decay: it's not what you'd think

Posted by Philip on 14 July 2011, 2:26 pm in , , , , , , ,

There was so much I learnt in the recent retreat run by Sue Davidoff and Allan Kaplan of the Proteus Initiative. I want to share another amazing insight, this time about the nature of diversity itself (and when I say "nature" I mean both the phenomena of the physical world and the basic or inherent features of something).

One of the exercises we did was to go and observe plants that were growing and dying (or decaying). We were asked to observe them carefully and then sketch them. Obviously the latter action is not a forté of mine but observation doesn't require much dexterity and I made a discovery that literally left me reeling for a moment. Let me use these two pictures to demonstrate what I saw. Can you see it too?

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Be careful how you shine

Posted by Philip on 3 July 2011, 12:44 pm in , , , , , ,

In my recent post How to create more rainbows, I talked about the relationship between lightness and darkness in terms of colour. In this post I want to talk about another aspect of this relationship that I learnt in the recent retreat I attended, run by Sue Davidoff and Allan Kaplan of the Proteus Initiative.

The other part of the connection between light and dark is that light creates darkness by casting shadow. The two go hand in hand – they are the equal and opposite reactions of each other. They are a manifestation of nature's perfect balance of positivity and negativity. We cannot have light without shadow; nor can we have shadow without light.

In the social setting of human endeavour, "doing good" can be equated with "creating light". It may be providing a human service, parenting a child, setting up an environmental organisation, even giving pleasure others through entertainment.

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How to create more rainbows

Posted by Philip on 26 June 2011, 5:00 pm in , , , , , , ,

Here's a rendition of an off-the-cuff talk I made to Rainbow Youth's AGM this afternoon (with some added bits).

Happy birthday! That's what AGMs are really – birthday parties for organisations – so it's great to see so many of you here. I'm here, not because I'm young, but because I'm one of Rainbow Youth's patron's, which makes me feel quite old. But I'm not as old as most patrons...just so you know.

I work in the area of social change, and I often find it hard to explain what exactly I do. So I'm going to demonstrate it. At the end of this talk, by listening to it, you will have changed, just a little, as will I have also, simply by saying it. And that, in essence, is the nature of social change.

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