So Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World by Margaret J. WheatleySo Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World by Margaret J. Wheatley

So Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World

byMargaret J. Wheatley

Paperback | September 27, 2012

Pricing and Purchase Info

$22.24 online 
$24.95 list price save 10%
Earn 111 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

* By the bestselling author of Leadership and the New Science, Turning to One Another, and many other inspiring books * Combines penetrating insights into the problems and paradoxes of modern society with a fresh perspective on how to persevere in the face of unending challenges using the skills of insight and compassion* Wheatley's most personal work to date, dedicated to alleviating the exhaustion and despair of forward-thinking people We live in a time of increasing polarization and irrationality, like a Tower of Babel with no distinction between fact and opinion, where information no longer changes minds. In cyberspace, we are bombarded with constant distractions and narcissistic self-making activities. Instant judgment and blame have replaced rational thinking. Organizations are bloated by bureaucracy and meaningless measures. Those working for positive change become exhausted, ill, and heartsick as their good work is ignored, underfunded, or attacked.We need to acknowledge that we're lost in a world far different than we hoped for. We need new maps to navigate our brave new world. In Leadership and the New Science, Wheatley provided encouraging maps for how to design organizations based on living systems' capacity for inclusion, change, and adaptation. But in the twenty years since that book's publication, she's seen that in spite of our best efforts, the world that has emerged is on a destructive trajectory that won't be reversed by our working harder, finding new methods, or forming better networks. But Wheatley has not written a book to increase our despair. Quite the contrary. Her intention is to inspire us to do our work with greater resolve and energy, using maps that won't mislead us. So Far from Home offers maps of two kinds. Using the newest of the new sciences, Wheatley shows how different dynamics interacted to create this harsh new world. A second kind of map invites us to choose a new role for ourselves as warriors for the human spirit. We develop the skills we need most-insight, bravery, decency, compassion-as we look honestly at this complex, difficult world. Clarity gives us enduring strength to discover our right work and create meaningful lives in this dark time. So Far from Home is a startlingly honest, profoundly reflective, and yet paradoxically down-to-earth book rooted in the day-to-day experiences we all share but seen with fresh eyes. It is both affirming and provoking, calling us to reexamine our expectations and redefine our role for the work ahead. It is Wheatley's most personal, heartfelt work to date.
Margaret Wheatley is a well-respected writer, teacher, and speaker on how we can sustain our relationships, stamina, and integrity through this time of chaos. She works globally and is the author of six books.
Title:So Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New WorldFormat:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 8.27 × 5.6 × 0.51 inPublished:September 27, 2012Publisher:Berrett-koehlerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1609945360

ISBN - 13:9781609945367

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of So Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from So far from home Great experiences for daily life. How to open ourselves to others.
Date published: 2014-04-14

Read from the Book

1SEEING WHAT ISI’m sitting on the banks of the Virgin River in Zion National Park, my favorite place on the planet. The river is confidently, casually flowing through this magnificent canyon that it has been carving out for about two million years.The canyon has created one of Earth’s most sacred places. It has been a dry winter, so the river is low, ambling peacefully along. I’ve been here at other times when it’s fierce, flooding, destructive. Next time I’m back it will be different again.I’ve learned a lot from rivers, starting with the teacher stream I wrote about in Leadership and the New Science. That lovely mountain stream taught me about process structures, things that have clear identity and intention yet constantly adapt to circumstances and conditions, changing their form as needed. Streams take many forms yet never lose their way, which is unerringly to the ocean. Along the way, they create magnificent canyons, wreak terrible destruction, provide sustenance to farms and communities, provide pleasure and pain to those who live along their banks. This is the pattern of life—changing, adapting, creating and destroying.The Hopi Native American elders describe this time—our time—as a river flowing now very fast, great, and swift. They warn us not to hold on to the shore, the place of security and old ways, because those who do “will be torn apart and suffer greatly.” They encourage us to push off into the middle of the river and to keep our heads above water.3These river images, even the most turbulent ones, no longer describe this time for me. I need a more violent image of disruption and dread to describe what I’m seeing and how I’m feeling. It is Yeats’ dark vision that speaks to me, written in 1919 in the troubled years after the First World War:Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;A Confession of InnocenceMany of us—certainly I’d describe myself in these terms—were anxiously engaged in “the ceremony of innocence.” We didn’t think we were innocents, but we were. We thought we could change the world. We even believed that, with sufficient will and passion, we could “create a world,” one that embodied our aspirations for justice, equality, opportunity, peace, a world where, in Paulo Freire’s terms, “it would be easier to love.” (The gifted publisher of this and all my books, Berrett-Koehler, aspires “To create a world that works for all.”) This vision, this hope, this possibility motivated me for most of my life. It still occasionally seduces me into contemplating what might be the next project, the next collaboration, the next big idea that could turn this world around. But I’m learning to resist the temptation.This is not a book that contemplates what we might do next, what we’ve learned from all our efforts, where we might put our energy and experience in order to create positive change. I no longer believe that we can save the world. Powerful, life-destroying dynamics have been set in motion that cannot be stopped. We’re on a disastrous course with each other and with the planet. We’ve lost track of our best human qualities and forgotten the real sources of satisfaction, meaning and joy.This book was born from my clarity that greed, self-interest and coercive power are destroying the very life force of this planet. I don’t know whether such destruction is intentional or not, but I observe it happening everywhere. I was hit in the face with this while in South Africa in November 2011. South Africa is the country of my heart, always teaching me about the depths of human experience. I’ve been working there since 1995 and this was my fourteenth visit. In the years of Nelson Mandela, hope was palpable. Everyone seemed to be starting projects to tackle huge social problems, eager to work with others to create the New South Africa. They understood the complexity of all the issues, they knew it was “a long walk to freedom,”4 and they had great faith in their future.But now, for many reasons, hope is hard to find and the good people who have created successful projects and built effective non-government organizations (NGOs) are exhausted and demoralized. They keep doing their work, but it’s now a constant struggle. They struggle for funds, they struggle with inept, corrupt bureaucracy, they struggle with the loss of community and the rise of self-interest, they struggle with the indifference of the newly affluent. The dream of a new nation of possibility, equality, and justice has fallen victim to the self-serving behaviors of those with power.Please do not think this is only true in South Africa. It’s happening everywhere, as you may have noticed.Indestructible MotivationYet I have not set out to write a book that increases our despair. Quite the contrary. My intention is that we do our work with greater resolve and energy, with more delight and confidence, even as we understand that it won’t turn this world around. Our work is essential; we just have to hold it differently. This was beautifully described by Václav Havel, leader of the Velvet Revolution, the poet-playwright who then became president of the new Czech Republic: “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”5How do we find this deep confidence that, independent of results, our work is the right work for us to be doing? How do we give up needing hope to be our primary motivator? How do we replace hope of creating change with confidence that we’re doing the right work?Hope is such a dangerous source of motivation. It’s an ambush, because what lies in wait is hope’s ever-present companion, fear: the fear of failing, the despair of disappointment, the bitterness and exhaustion that can overtake us when our best, most promising efforts are rebuked, undone, ignored, destroyed. As someone commented, “Expectation is premeditated disappointment.”My great teachers these days are people who no longer need hope in order to do their work, even though their projects and organizations began with bright, hope-filled dreams. As “the blood-dimmed tide” of greed, fear, and oppression drowns out their voices and washes away their good work, they become more committed to their work, not because it will succeed, but just because it is right for them to be doing it. I watch their inner struggles and bouts with despair, but mostly what I notice is their perseverance and confidence. They see how bad it is, they know it is getting worse, they realize their work won’t create the changes they have worked hard for all these years. Yet they continue to do their work because they know it is theirs to do. Sometimes they say, “I can’t not do this.” Other times they ask, “What else would I be doing if not this?”These brave people are true warriors. Seeing as clearly as they can, hearts as open as they can bear, they keep doing their work. They know how systems of power work and they try to discern wise actions. Though in frequent battles with politicians, leaders and bureaucrats, they strive to keep their hearts open and not to succumb to anger and aggression. Work is filled with constant challenges, and they know there will be many more.Perhaps you see yourself in this description. Or perhaps you still rely on the hope that it’s possible to save the world.

Table of Contents

A Prophecy of Warriors
Seeing What Is
Home: We cannot change the way the world is
Everything Comes from Somewhere
Emergence: Surprised by Newness
Identity: The Paradox of Change
Relationships: Endlessly Entangled
Lost: Opening to the world as it is
Are We Lost?
All-Consuming Selves
Distracted Beyond Recall
Controlling Complexity
Found: We may discover gentleness, decency, bravery
Choosing for the Human Spirit
Warriors at Work
No Hope, No Fear
The Warrior's Path
A Dream of Warriors