Individual vs. collective — the life trajectory

So, I am thinking about Rita’s suggestion that I should write down my thoughts and experiences related to the various groups I’ve been involved in and the lessons I’ve learned about group processes and dynamics.  Perhaps by doing this, I would come to some understanding of how to craft environments that are most conducive to individual and collective learning.  During Peter’s seminar / workshops presentation yesterday, it was clear to me that these “open spaces” not only needed to support and grow individual creativity, exploration, reflection, discussion and clarity, but that these spaces should also allow individuals to connect to larger group processes and shared collective goals by creating a sense of ownership, belonging and contribution.  These are the ideas reflected in the writings of Rousseau about civic and public spaces allowing individuals to see how their own individual interests can be connected to the interests of others and larger publics.

I was also reading Walter’s “life story” which in essence is his autobiographical sketch and that in many ways these past experiences have shaped how Walter has come to think about the 119.  If Mary Ann were to do a similar sketch, how would that combine?  What about others at the 119?  From a series of sketches, could we come to understand hoindividuals move in and out of the space and where the intersections might be.  The idea of spaces being these dances in reverse is interesting.  That we come in and out of space to learn, grow, contribute, connect.  I think I should also follow up with the “Kindness in Work” ( website as well.

This idea that “open spaces” serve goals at the individual, group, and social goods and goals.  I was working out yesterday how Durkheim, Weber and Marx tried to map out the shifting relationship between individuals and the larger society during the transition to a modern industrialized form.  As we have moved toward the fragmentation of post-modern and now the reconnection as part of a global society what are the needs of individuals?  The needs of groups?  How does collective action occur?  What does such action require?  What happens when individuals no longer find meaning in institutions (i.e. the state, the church, the workplace)?  What happens when we all become free agents?  Yet the impulses to reconnect, to belong, to contribute, to find meaning is strong.  At the same time, imperatives for individual meaning, exploration and fulfillment prevail.  So we need to ignite individual passions and motivations.

Also, what was it that made me breakdown yesterday?  In part it is the memory of my parents and their loss.  But also, it is my core belief that so many people need support and spaces where they are valued and can belong.  They need spaces that allow their ideas to flourish and prevail.  I think my work at LTC is most reflective of this.

I think I should go back and create an intersecting process map of my life trajectory. Where my personal relationship, work, and intellectual paths are the main components.  I would need to add in key points of reference as well.  I did this once and found that I had these retraces.  I would help to do this again.