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August 19, 2021


A Simple Step to Help Others Every Day

In this week’s Systems Change Newsletter…

  • Invitations & Announcements
  • Catalytic Thinking Exercise: Noticing Opportunities to be of Service
  • Resources to Further Your Practice

Invitations & Announcements:


What would it look like if the way we resource social change efforts were aligned with our values? If progressive social change is about dismantling the power and privilege that cause so much day-to-day struggle, must the work to create that change buy into that same power and privilege?

Join our community’s continuing conversation about this topic at our next Integrity Meeting – Monday, September 13. Information is here

Infinite Service to All Things Present

Infinite gratitude for all things past
Infinite service to all things present
Infinite responsibility for all things future

n this series, we are focusing on three factors at the core of Catalytic Thinking – gratitude, service, and responsibility. In this journal and this journal we focused on gratitude. Today, let's turn to service.

What does it mean to be of service to all things present? In the context of Catalytic Thinking, what is “service” that brings out the best in everyone and everything involved?

In upcoming journals, we will talk about what it takes to be of service from a place of compassion and wisdom. In today’s edition, let's simply focus on what it means to be “of service” in the first place.

Being of service is about seeing the opportunity in every moment to be available to help, with no expectation of reward. We can be of service to other people, to our planet, and to ourselves. Because being of service is about seeing the opportunity to help, we quickly realize that opportunity is around us all the time.

It can be as simple as a smile or a kind word, or just holding space and listening. Or it can be as complex as a whole change of life.

What matters is our openness to seeing the opportunity to help the people we share this planet with and the planet itself.

So this week, let's see how many of those opportunities show up as we seek to be of "infinite service to all things present."

Try this
This week’s exercise is simple: Just notice all the opportunities that arise, where you might be of service - where you can help someone else.

1) Set an alarm on your phone, for some time in your day.

2) When the alarm goes off, look around. Then ask yourself:

- What is life asking of me right now?

- Who is around me? What do they need?

            - a smile?

            - a hug?

            - a listening ear?

That’s all. Just noticing, being aware of the myriad ways, large and small, that we can be of service.

Perhaps you are driving when the alarm goes off. How might you be of service to the other drivers on the road?

Perhaps you are alone at home. How might you be of service to your housemates when they return? To your neighbor down the hall or across the street?

Perhaps you are in a meeting when that alarm goes off. How might you be of service to the other people in the room?

Or perhaps you are in the woods or by the ocean, in a beautiful natural environment. How might you be of service to our planet?

You don’t need to take action – yet. Just notice all the opportunities, large and small, to be of service to your fellow earth creatures and to the earth itself.

And in the next edition, we’ll dive into what it means to serve with compassion and with wisdom. Because all of this is integral to the Catalytic Thinking framework.

Resources to Support Your Practice:

  • READ: What does it mean to “hold space” for others (or for yourself)? We have found no better explanation than this article by Heather Plett. Read it here…
  • READ: What is the difference between truly being of service vs. wanting to appear as if you’re helping? Read this excellent piece from Forbes about performative allyship. Read it here…
  • SEE: Some inspiring quotes about service from a broad spectrum of life. Please let us know what favorites you would add. See them here…

Want to learn alongside other people who are also trying out Catalytic Thinking practices? Join our Catalytic Thinking in Action community on Facebook - a welcoming place where you can ask questions and learn from people like you who are experimenting with these practices. We look forward to seeing you there!

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eJournal Archives:
If you’re new to our eJournal, or just want to remind yourself of past practice exercises we’ve shared, check out our eJournal archives here.

Creating the Future's Mission
Teach people how to change the systems they find themselves in,
to create a future different from our past -
all by changing the questions they ask.

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