a student's perspective LO7173

Jacqueline Mullen (J.Mullen@agora.stm.it)
Sat, 4 May 1996 09:08:36 GMT

Replying to LO7147

My agreement to this statement...

>> "--my personnal belief is that organizations can not be compared to
>> communities. organizations are tied to earnings, communities are tied to
>> living. these are two different things."

led Rol to make this comment to Stephen...

>What was not clear from my letter was the
>context in which other voices were implying a difference and perhaps a
>hierarchy of 'goodness' whatever that is.

Yes, in fact, I do make a distinction between a "civic community"
and a "work community." But, no, I certainly would not want to imply a
"hierarchy of goodness." (As an aside, I personally follow a WYSIWYG
policy for posts. The somewhat rushed, bare-to-the-bones digital form
makes reading between the lines a bit risky, I feel.) I see them as both
equally essential, highly inter- and intra-dependent, but qualitatively
different, aspects of one's life. And because of this belief, I wave a
flag of caution in interchanging the two since there could be the
possibility of a, perhaps unwitting, manipulative use of a somewhat
collective nostalgia for Opie, Aunt Bea, and Sheriff Taylor back in

It is my view that, in this period of social change, many people
are rethinking in more personal, individualized terms many societal
arrangements that have traditionally been imposed from the outside by
religious or social institutions. I like to think of it as a sort of a
"trial and error, breaking and creating of the rules." I'm going to quote
M. C. Bateson again because I think it's a wonderful way to put it, one
explores "the ways we combine familiar and unfamiliar components in
response to new situations, following an underlying grammar and an
evolving aesthetic." I feel that institutions, like teachers, are
becoming, in the words of a speaker at the European Conference on Lifetime
Learning, the "guide on the side" instead of the "sage on the stage." The
uniqueness of the individual encouraged within a multi-culture.

I admit, I haven't followed the thread on Self-Evident Truths,
but, for me, a desire to search for them is utterly foreign to how I
create meaning in my life and relate to others. I begin from the
presumption that "ultimate truths" are unknowable and that "understanding"
is through compassionate direct knowledge, subjective in nature. The
threads that weave together community, whether civic or work or whatever,
I feel are based in listening to, empathizing with, and respecting both
the differences and commonalities we have as they change in time. One's
"truth" today may not be "truth" tomorrow. I believe it is through this
sharing of stories about meaning that a complexity of values emerges,
interpersonal bonds reinforced by one's sense of empathy.


Jackie Mullen J.Mullen@agora.stm.it

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>