It's okay to do.
Before I was a writer, I was a craftsperson.
Before I worked online, I spent my days weaving, sewing, felting, and dying textiles. Not only that, I abhorred anything digital beyond the Arduino programming that I did to animate my soft cyborg puppets.
I was a maker and a doer.
Despite this, I was also a serial learner. To date, I have spent nine years in institutions of higher education.
Which is, of course, a privilege. It is also a pattern that has kept me from fully doing the work I feel called to do.
To my ability to create change with my hands.
brown quotes Nick Obolensky in the introduction, “Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.”
What makes this concept/practice of emergence feel even more potent is the fact that brown lives in Detroit—a mere 10-minute drive from where I am—and emergence is in full swing in the city.
When I left 12 years ago, Detroit was bankrupt.
Now it is this vibrant and alive place being reimagined and rebuilt by humans with an appreciation for blue-collar work ethic and creative iteration.
Everywhere people are doing.
Simple things. Leading to much bigger things.
While I did not realize it when I got back in April, I have been longing for permission to do. Yes, to keep nibbling away at new concepts and theories and also just to get my hands in the dirt and get to work.
brown writes, “Many of us have been socialized to understand that constant growth, violent competition, and critical mass are the ways to create change. But emergence shows us that adaption and evolution depend upon more critical, deep, and authentic connections, a thread that can be tugged for support and resilience. The quality of connection between the nodes in the patterns. Dare I say love.”
Love that supports the connection economy that we have the opportunity to participate in.
Love that supports us in applying what we’ve learned so we can shape change within our communities both online and off.
And, hopefully, love that is simply the act of caring for another for no other reason than it is the most human thing we can do.