1: a regularly interacting or interdependent group forming a unified whole
2: an organized set of doctrines, ideas, or principles usually intended to explain the arrangement or a working of a whole
3: (a) an organized or established procedure; (b) a manner of classifying or schematizing
4: a harmonious arrangement or pattern: order
5: an organized society or social situation regarded as stultifying or oppressive
System (n.): 1610s, “The whole creation, the universe,” from Late Latin systema “an arrangement, system,” from Greek systema “organized whole, a whole compounded of parts,” from stem of synistanai “to place together, organize, form in order,” from syn- “together” + root of histanai “cause to stand,” from Proto-Indo-European root sta- “to stand, make or be firm.”
Meaning “set of correlated principles, facts, ideas, etc.” first recorded in 1630s. Meaning “animal body as an organized whole, sum of the vital processes in an organism” is recorded from 1680s; hence figurative phrase to get (something) out of one’s system (1900). Computer sense of “group of related programs” is recorded from 1963. All systems go (1962) is from U.S. space program. The system “prevailing social order” is from 1806.
“The problem is not some system. It is us. Each of us. We've got to fix ourselves before we can fix a whole damn country.”
Imbolo Mbue (writer and author of the novel, "Behold the Dreamers")
“Systems cannot be adopted; they can only be developed.”
Haresh Sippy (b. 1946, industrialist and chief founder and managing director of Tema India, Ltd)
“For by this very fact, individuals confirm the system, fulfill the system, make the system, are the system.”
Václev Havel (1936-2011, playwright, poet, essayist, dissident, politician, tenth and last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic)
“In any society built on institutionalized racism, race-mixing doesn't merely challenge the system as unjust, it reveals the system as unsustainable and incoherent.”
Trevor Noah (b. 1984, South African comedian, the "Daily Show" host, and author of "Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood")
“The mistake you make, don't you see,is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself. After all, what do you achieve by refusing to make money? You're trying to behave as though one could stand right outside our economic system. But one can't. One's got to change the system, or one changes nothing. One can't put things right in a hole-and-corner way, if you take my meaning.”
George Orwell (1903-1950, pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair, English novelist, essayist, and critic famous for his novels Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-four (1949), the latter a profound anti-utopian novel that examines the dangers of totalitarian rule)
“For by this very fact, individuals confirm the system, fulfill the system, make the system, are the system.” — Václev Havel
Years ago, my daughter received a gift from her father at the age of 11. It was huge, an Apple Computer laptop. At the time, it was a pretty expensive machine that served as an important tool for Maya from middle school to the first year of college. But, eventually the computer slowed to a crawl, running out of memory and the ability to support the software upgrades.
After Maya saved her money to buy a more powerful personal computer to handle all her college assignments as a film student, I asked her if she could send me her old computer, at my expense, to see if I could not only upgrade the memory but replace the operating system. I waited patiently for three months while an official computer repairman succeeded in transforming my computer from an antiquated piece of machinery to one that functioned as brand new one right out of the box, with only paying a fraction of the original price. Essentially, I now have beautiful designed computer that functions at higher speeds with the ability to multi-task and load several programs all at once.
Swapping out a computer operating system can be analogy for our desire to upgrade and develop our own mindsets. Over time, this can be done as we learn to nurture our minds, bodies, and spirits, and incorporate those spiritual contemplative practices that help us purify our hearts and cultivate the beginner’s minds.
When we are able to do our own transformational work we are then able to support and serve our world’s betterment.
Stay hopeful and rise above the fray, sojourners, even in the midst of the horrendous suffering and chaos.