This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.
We talk about great many things in the same way we talk about gravity.
The economy, cultures, institutions, regions, groups and sub-groups (and sub-sub-groups)… even individuals. And even about ourselves.
All like gravity. All like a physical law of the universe that operates in a strict, and predictable and unbending way.
“Gravity,” as the old* humorous saying goes, “is a harsh mistress.”
And perhaps it’s no surprise.
We know things like gravity (including gravity): inviolable, primal, prone to landing us flat on our keister with no hesitation.
But the thing is, that’s just gravity. It’s not all things.
If we look through a microscope, we can detect no influence of, for example, “the economy” on the cells or molecules within.
If we look through a telescope, we can detect no influence of “the economy” on the movement of the planets, the stars, galaxies, or anything in the universe at large.
It’s not like gravity at all.
We’ve collapsed something. We’ve made a mistake of classification and equivalency.
Many things are not as figured out as we speak them to be.
Many things are not as rigid as we speak them to be.
Many things are not as inviolable as we speak them to be.
When we distinguish between that which is our own construct, and that which is a true law of the universe, things open up.
We gain freedom, and we grant others freedom.
We open the door to possibilities, to connection, and to creation.
And we get to land on our keisters a lot less often.
* Ok, not that old, it was from an episode of the Tick… but it was inspired by a classic Heinlein story “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” in which gravity did play a big role