What is your gentle action today?

Take a deep breath if you are feeling powerless.

If you think you are only a drop in the ocean, without the ability to influence change in the larger world, that your will and action will be diluted.


Know that as you breathe in, you are breathing the air that connects you to others, the environment and all living things.

As you breathe out, the cycle continues.

As we begin to understand the nature of chaos and complexity science, we realise that we are intricately connected and interwoven to everything.

The smallest and the biggest event is all connected and creates change. This is explained by the 'butterfly effect' that theorises that a "flap of the wings of a butterfly in Brasil will create a Tornado in Texas".

All living systems such as eco systems, human systems are complex systems. An ant colony and a the stock market is a complex system. There are patterns and structures in complex systems, where there are multiple interactions between many different components. Therefore even small changes can have far reaching and unpredictable impact.

This is heartening, because if human and social systems are complex systems, then even a small action by a single individual could have far reaching impact. This also means we have to take 'responsible action' because of the way a single individual can influence a system.

Often we imagine that to make a change, we need large external interventions. Actually this can destabilise the system. Instead, if you are within the system, you have a bigger impact. Because as you change, and act, the system changes from within. When the system changes you change, because you are an integral part of the system. So the cycle continues, in small and often unpredictable ways.

Make a gentle action.

A 'gentle action' (as suggested by Complexity Theorist David Peat), is an action that rises from within you, wholly connected to the environment, the situation, rather than a fragmented external intervention. A gentle action is in harmony with everything.

If you are beating yourself up that your actions are puny in a large complex system, stop! Remember that you are part of the system and therefore have all the possibility to make change.

Take heart. Be powerful. Be gentle.

You count.




Wishing you powerful gentle actions.



The power of simple random acts - How the I Can project started in Sri Lanka

It’s February 14th, Valentines day and I am browsing the net, going from one link to the other, without a particular destination, enjoying tidbits from the cyber world.

I happen to come across an interesting TED talk http://on.ted.com/88Xq. Its about a school in India (Riverside School) that starts a program called I Can, where children aged 8 – 14, in small groups are empowered and inspired to become change agents. It’s a simple concept. The children are asked to pick an issue that bothers them, that they want to change, and then they are given a week to make the change. The impact and results are amazing. From cleaning up garbage, to making cities child friendly, to stopping child marriages, to teaching their parents to read and write, no issue was too big or too small. Kiran Sethi, the lady spearheading this project sees the potential of the project and starts taking the idea to other schools in the state and then across India. It gathers momentum and start spreading all over … Pakistan, England, Canada, Bhutan.
Check out how its spreading at http://www.designforchangecontest.com/.

Coming back to my random web surfing. I tweet the link. My dear friend Bishan Rajapakse, in New Zealand picks it up and is equally inspired and does more than tweet it. He writes to Kiran praising her for her work and saying it would be amazing to start this in Sri Lanka. She replies. Of course … You Can! He puts me and several others in touch with Kiran.

In the meantime I have been meeting with a group of my friends, who are depressed and disheartened about some of the political and social issues in Sri Lanka. We wanted to get out of the apathy we were in and were looking for practical way to engage with social issues and the community, to bring in values, empowerment and good governance. I Can seemed like an ideal way to engage with children, teachers and the education system.

We pick up the idea, and today we are running a few pilot projects with amazing results. children have been involved in teaching under-privileged children English, stopping bullying in the school, cleaning up a garbage dump and convincing the municipality to give a job to an unemployed person known to them etc. Amazing what children will do when adults believe in them and they believe in themselves. The teachers are amazed too. Children whom they have hitherto written off as being ‘naughty’ and ‘undisciplined’ have worked the hardest and shown their true potential in their engagement with the project.

(Watch this space for more stories on our learning and experiences and results about the pilot project and how the project progresses.)

So what’s the moral of this story?

A simple random act can often have an unpredictable chain reaction and create change!

A tweet. An email. A contact and introduction. A group of friends.
A change initiative that is empowering children to believe in themselves as change agents and adults to start respecting the passion and action of children.

I did not know at the time I tweeted the link that it would connect me to a social change initiative that is growing as we speak. I didn’t realize that this would be a project that my friends and I would start doing.

What was the link?

Each one of us (me, the group of friends, Bishan, Kiran) in our separate corners of the world had one intention – the intention to transform human society, to empower the good humanness in all of us, to believe in children, to believe in the good in the world. This connected us. And simple random acts with this underlying intention connected us. That’s all. Simple.

I can make simple random acts, holding my intention closely to my heart, and see my intentions unfold, and connect with others.

I am no alone.
You are not alone

Be brave. Be foolish. Make one simple random act of goodness. Share a story. Help someone. Believe in yourself. Believe in someone else. You never know how far it can reach.

Wishing life and energy to your good intentions!


p.s. Please do remember to click this link http://on.ted.com/88Xq to watch the TED talk by Kiran and check out http://www.designforchangecontest.com/. She is truly inspiring and the I Can movement is ‘contagious’.

We would welcome anyone who would like to be part of the project, and initiate ‘I Can’ projects in schools that you have access to. Please do contact me on mihirini@corporatedruids.com if you would like to be part of this movement.