Wolves in Yellowstone

I’ve been reading about “trophic cascades” recently after a dear friend sent me this video. I’d not seen the video, but evidently more than 14 million others have!  It’s a perfect example of how everything in nature has a role to play, a role we must strive to understand and value.  Take a look!

I’m still not sure how I can value the existence of mosquitoes and tics, but I’ve been alerted again, through this video, how everything is connected. That means that YOU’RE connected, and that YOUR presence makes a difference. You’re part of what I’m going to call “a relational trophic cascade.”

Here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that relational trophic cascades exist in human communities. Everyone has a place. Without YOU in YOUR place in YOUR system your system will be poorer. Or to state this positively, when you bring your particular personality, gifts, and passions to any group, that group will be richer. Whoever you are and whatever you do brings balance and deeper texture to the community.

Judging by the collar on this Big Horn sheep where I was hiking in Colorado, someone's interested in how this guy fits into the ecosystem.  I'm glad!
Judging by the collar on this Big Horn sheep where I was hiking in Colorado, someone’s interested in how this guy fits into the ecosystem. I’m glad!

For instance, a chaplain walks into a patient’s room. The patient has been anxious about her upcoming surgery and simply isn’t confident that things will turn out well. The doctor has expressed concern to the nurses that she hesitates to do this particular kind of surgery with such low patient confidence. The chaplain, who has earned the patient’s trust, assures the patient of the competence of the medical staff and that God will be awake even when the patient is under anesthesia.   The patient rings the nurse when the chaplain leaves and tells the nurse that she wants the surgery. The nurse tells the doctor. The doctor does the surgery. The patient leaves the hospital on the way to full recovery. In my view, that’s a relational trophic cascade.

What will happen to our world when we introduce intentional, coordinated caring into our social systems? What will happen when people doing things they love to do apply those passionate activities in the service of someone with a health care need? What will our communities be like when everyone recovering from a surgical procedure or an unexpected illness has an extended circle of family and friends joyously looking in on them, tending to them, and loving them? I don’t think any of us need a scientific study to conclude that such a reality would make our world a better place.

I believe that the Support Team Network, as it grows, will be part of a very positive relational trophic cascade. Care to join? You definitely have a place!

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