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The following article appeared in the Winter 1996 edition of the Windstar Vision.

Creativity, Integrity & Responsibility

--Sherryl R. Stalinski

"Windstar is an expression of the power of human creativity, integrity and responsibility--a commitment to conscious choice."

These words, Windstar's philosophy, were used during the 1996 Youth Award presentation to Tara Church, a young woman who embodies to the fullest this expression. As Windstar members, we should all be committed to express these qualities to the fullest in our lives. But do we? Consider the full scope of the challenge:

Creativity. The ability to see beyond black and white, the ability to express complexity with simplicity. Creativity demands the skill of integrating diversity into oneness, and even more basic, to know--not simply understand intellectually--our own oneness with each other and every thing and every creature of the Earth. When the complexity of everyday living and culture and society and community are expressed as a simple: "you are part of me; we are not separate," creativity is present. A few months ago, a Windstar friend challenged me with a statement made by Buckminster Fuller: the idea that we (humans) are that part of the Universe which is becoming conscious of itself.

It took three months to get it. In fact, I had even argued the point with him at first, but agreed to drop the discussion and slowly understand this on my own. A few months later, I read the exact same phrase in a book I was reading and had to chuckle out loud at the irony. When Pat questioned what was so funny, we began discussing the topic again. He looked at me as if I'd just discovered that 2+2=4. "Of course he's right, dear," he said. "It's simple evolution. The more we discover ourselves, the more we discover God--the universal consciousness--and the more we discover that we are the universe. With that discovery, we finally deeply understand our connectedness." I thought I did understand our connectedness. I grew again. Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard states: "...as an organism becomes more highly developed, it becomes more aware of the creative process and more capable of co-creating with it. As the organism becomes more sensitive to the Creation, it becomes more aware that it is created and it gets more creative." Creativity, then, is an expression of knowing connectedness and likewise an expression of creativity is anything which more clearly defines our connectedness.

Integrity. Bucky also said, "Only integrity is going to count." Webster, not by accident I'm sure, defines integrity in this order: "1. a being complete; wholeness. 2. Unimpaired condition; soundness. 3. uprightness, honesty, sincerity." True to our uncanny ability to misuse and under-utilize the English language, most of us on first reading plug definition #3 into Bucky's quote. But "a being complete" surely more fully expresses Mr. Fuller's meaning. An expression of integrity is that which expresses our wholeness and enables us to become "a being complete."

Responsibility. With knowledge (creativity, integrity) comes responsibility--translating knowledge (creativity, integrity) into action. Responsibility is also easier to accept than it is to express. I can accept responsibility for all that I am connected with, but how do I express that acceptance as action? For Tara, it was planting a tree. That simple act empowered her to continue to express responsibility; to form one of the first youth environmental organizations and even organize the very first National Youth Environmental Summit at the age of 14:

Tara recalls her third grade leap into environmentalism motivated by the planting of Marcie the Marvelous Tree. "After the planting, we sat around Marcie. I thought about how big she'd grow, and how much good one tree could do in the future. Realizing what one individual could accomplish by planting one tree gave me a sense of power I didn't have before. I didn't feel my individual efforts could make a difference until that moment." Her advice to other youth remains consistent and clear: "Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't change the world. If we all dedicated ourselves to changing our own little parts of the world, then we would have changed it."
--from Environmental Health Perspectives, reproduced in Tara's Youth Award nomination.

Each of us has a tree to plant, a single act that empowers us to express responsibility. This is our "commitment to conscious choice" -- to continually evolve and be an expression of creativity, integrity and responsibility--an expression which is manifest in action. Only ideas which have been acted upon change the world.

By getting to the proverbial root, Windstar promotes connectedness. This is why Windstar will host workshops on every topic from "Zen and Watercolor Painting" to "High Altitude Gardening" to "Aikido and Human Relationships." Windstar understands that "connectedness" translates into so much more than environmentalism. From an understanding of connectedness comes a logical expression of care for our Earth, a celebration of human diversity, and a commitment to peace. Any one of these alone is an incomplete expression, but combined provide a synergetic catalyst for true change.

What tree will you plant in 1997? How will your life be an expression of creativity, integrity and responsibility? What action will manifest from your commitment to conscious choice, and how broad will your branches grow?


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"In systems such as contemporary society, evolution is always a promise and devolution is always a threat. No system comes with a guarantee of ongoing evolution.

The challenge is real.

To ignore it is to play dice with all we have. To accept it is not to play God—it is to become an instrument of whatever divine purpose infuses the universe. "

--Ervin Laszlo




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