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Why We Act and React in Relation to Others

Even when we live apart from others, we are strongly influenced by human systems of all kinds including systems in our families, workplaces, congregations, social organizations, political organizations, neighborhoods, societal structures, and more. When we make a decision that feels completely independent of others, it often turns out the response we choose is determined by a complex system of action, reaction and interaction among people who might not even be in the room at the time.


Systems are created and perpetuated by communities of people. Often individuals act and react within a system with no conscious understanding or conscious choice. Even when individuals reject or move away from.

"Intense Discussion" by Colin McCloskey via Flickr Commons Creative.

a particular system, it continues to influence them. If we as individuals learn to see relational patterns and intentionally understand and change our own actions and responses, we can affect our own lives and the workings of the communities we are a part of.


How can you do this? With study and self-reflection. The courses in the Congogram course series aim to teach about systems and engage the reader in self-reflection exercises that help to understand your actions and

responses in your own family and congregational systems. From there you can choose to change less productive patterns and to continue and expand on healthy patterns.

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