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Cracking a few eggs

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You’ve got to crack a few eggs to make an omelette. 

I’ve always met this phrase with some skepticism. It scares me. I get a bad feeling that whoever is saying it is about to rationalize away something terrible in service to Progress. At best, it feels lazy, a way to take the easy, reckless road without feeling guilty.

But perhaps there’s sometimes to it.

Perhaps it’s an acceptance that to accomplish true good, to make real progress, to do something new and inventive, we sometimes must bring chaos to the world. We must deconstruct our current order, what is currently working and complete, in order to reveal the greater potential and possibility hidden within. To enact new policy, we must kill the existing policy. To create new habits, we must end the old habits. To enter into a new paradigm, we must show how the old paradigm no longer serves us. We must kill it in our hearts and minds.

In other words, perhaps sometimes change is not construction, but destruction. Any change is a form of violence, in a way, to the status quo.

Part of being effective as a change agent is becoming comfortable in this role, the instigator, the deconstructor, the destroyer. We must find the courage to let go of something known and familiar, to open ourselves to possibility and potential, when those around us still cling to the past.

For too long, we’ve been told that to be productive is to make order out of chaos, to bring structure to our lives. And this is often the case. But perhaps sometimes the most productive thing we can do is to make chaos from order, to tear apart at the worn, outdated fabric of modern life, so that we might weave a new, more beautiful tapestry from the loose thread.


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Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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