Our Grounding Paradigm
The disciplines were created by Allen Callahan, PHD, a Wellness Collaborative sustaining partner.
We may speak, at different times and in diverse manners, of wellness, of faith, of democracy; of public education and public health; of food security, political economy, conflict resolution, affordable housing, community policing, corporate media, civil defense, sustainable agriculture, gun control, local politics, waste treatment, domestic violence, climate change, social justice. At the same time, we intuit that none of these challenges can be met without meeting the others, and that the failure to tend to any one of them can be — and often is, directly or indirectly — the undoing of efforts to tend to the others.
The 7-Disciplines of Wellbeing
The Seven Disciplines offer a way of thinking through and working through the interconnectedness of our common challenges. Like the systems of the body, the Seven Dimensions cannot be understood in isolation from one another: they are interrelated, inform each other, and have mutual, complex impacts on each other.
Let us make what we use, and let us use what we make — from tools to toys, from clothes to condiments. When others determine what we consume and what we produce, the quality and quantity of those things remain beyond our control; when we consume things made by slave labor, made of toxic materials, and made for markets that destroy local economies, we are complicit in injustice. And when we consume those things because we have no other viable options, we resign ourselves to injustice. With industry, we make a choice to make things, freely and justly, for ourselves.
We can expect attempts to encroach on our space, exploit our resources, and expropriate the fruits of our labor. We must therefore structure our communities to anticipate, resist, and neutralize any and all such attempts at encroachment, exploitation, and expropriation, through practices of solidarity that empower us to be vigilant enough and resilient enough to protect ourselves and each other.
Education is the complex process whereby we learn from others and learn for ourselves what we must know to make of the world what we would have it be. It treats of the connection between what we think and what we do in the service to fulfilling our own purposes, projects, plans, and proposals. In short, education is how we learn to live life more abundantly.
Alimentation treats of everything related to our being able to feed ourselves, and to our being able to do so sustainably on a scale appropriate to our communities.
We must always ask three fundamental questions about our food: “Where does it come from?”, “How does it get here?”, and, “Where does it go after we’re done with it?” A 3,000-mile supply chain rushes to us our fruit from the hands of laborers who picked it at slave wages; its packaging becomes trash; its stems, rinds, and peels become garbage; our own ‘elimination’, sewage. From this straight line of haste to waste, alimentation restores the nutrient cycle in which our food once again feeds our bodies, our communities, and our economies.
A 3,000-mile supply chain rushes to us our fruit from the hands of laborers who picked it at slave wages; its packaging becomes trash; its stems, rinds, and peels become garbage; our own ‘elimination’, sewage. From this straight line of haste to waste, alimentation restores the nutrient cycle in which our food once again feeds our bodies, our communities, and our economies.
Remediation treats of the will, ways, and means to repair, refresh, and restore those things we value. It presupposes that we live in a fallen world, where things will go wrong and where much has already gone wrong. In such a world, merely doing good is not good enough: we need a repertory of interventions that have the promise of fixing what is broken and making the wounded whole. And we need tranquil, beautiful places and spaces where we can rest, relax, and ‘rec-create’.
Tell prospective customers more about your company and the services you offer here. Replace this image with one more fitting to your business. It is not enough to merely condemn this deluge of pernicious propaganda: we must create our own high-quality content and share that content over our own networks, while cultivating practices of speaking and listening that in themselves communicate responsibility and respect.
Habitation treats of the built environments where we make things happen — where we work, rest, raise our children — raising the questions of who builds those environments, with what, where, when, and how. Where we live, and how we live there, are concrete expressions of our commitment to ourselves and to the world. We must construct this expression by our own means and for our own ends.