When trying to come up with creative strategies for approaching everyday problems, we sometimes confuse an emergent “third way” with a linear “middle way.” Unlike more linear approaches, an emergent systems perspective isn’t just about compromises or common ground. It is also about synergies and the bigger picture. To be emergent, a third way approach has to be informed by the bi-directional ways of the dichotomies it supersedes, but at the same time it must exist at a higher level of scale beyond them. It isn’t in the middle of them and it isn’t a balance between them; it transcends and ultimately transforms how we understand them. It isn’t just a different way of doing; it is a whole new way of seeing.
This kind of perspective can inform our thinking about many critical issues in the world today, including social activism:
Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals | Shane Claiborne • Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove • Enuma Okoro