What has proved itself for my microwave oven regularly proves true for the larger world also. In the domain of corporations and capital ventures companies strive for growth; yet beyond a certain point that growth is of questionable value and can become a serious detriment. In the transition to the modern era of business we continually see mega corporations crumble as they become more and more unwieldy in an environment of fast and constant change. Of course many smaller enterprises we never hear of also crumble. But in the world of ‘small’, crumble is more often a form of transformation. It is often the metamorphosis akin to the butterfly emerging from the cocoon. Changes in the world of ‘small’, more often than not, increase the overall strength of the industry; or in nature, the species. In the world of ‘big’, complete collapse is generally better for the whole.
In the world of biology a species that becomes too big, that over-grows its environment, will suffer serious depletion through aggressive competition and environmental constraints. This is natural; it is one of the balances of life, yet it is also natural to produce enough and more to compensate for any conceivable loss. Every plant and animal produces enough to feed every hungry predator while still leaving plenty to grow forward in a normal cycle of change. That is the status quo, the law of averages and; contrary to human behavior, we of the human species are not bound to the law of averages. I say it again; bigger is not always better.
Politics and religion also suffer the plight of oversized stagnation. Beyond a certain point of growth the only way forward is through aggressive conversion or assimilation. This invariably leads to splintering; because an oversized organism cannot change as a whole with shifts of environment or consciousness. Individual groups start breaking away because the larger body is unable to respond to individual needs. Soon our mega nations and religions start looking like lizards on the Galapagos Islands. Every island has a slightly different species, all looking similar but not really the same. There will be commonalities among many but the furthest extremes may not even be identifiable as having ever been related and often the new sub species like the human splinter groups end up fighting for the same territory.
The only success to big has been a passive growth pattern where the expansion of the philosophy or species proves itself by the example of its success.
No, big is not necessarily better. Sometimes the most important work we can do is to focus on ourselves; making sure that we are creating a life we can fully enjoy. Yet that simple practice can be a full time preoccupation when faced with the engines of consumerism. It’s very easy to forget ourselves when we are caught up in the glitter of new and polished, with the hyped up drive of a professional sales person trained to make us salivate like puppies at dinner time. Yet if there is one spiritual challenge in this age it is the challenge of really, consciously thinking for ourselves, making decisions based upon information that is congruent with the results we desire.
In a world of big and bigger, sometimes the biggest thing for us to do is to have an original thought based on our desires for peace, joy, life and love. The biggest change we can make in the world is to change ourselves without imposing our idea of right on everyone else. And next time I get a new anything I will seriously consider how I can make do with smaller.