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Nursing educators may find some consolation in considering that the wide-sweeping changes we are witnessing, resisting, or supporting are indicative of a massive change in civilization as we know it. Where actual rivers such as the Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, and Yangtze were sites for civilizations' growth, civilizations are now growing along the "[horizontal ellipsis]electronic river, changing people's personal and public behavior," reports Jean Houston (scholar, researcher, and philosopher). Speaking October 17, 2010, at the Organizational Development Network Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, Houston cautions that "Everything that was is not any more." This statement reflects changes now seen in nursing and healthcare. Houston continues; "We are going through the most radical construction and deconstruction the world has ever seen[horizontal ellipsis]. We are gathered at a wake for a way of being that has been with us for thousands of years." She says the human challenge is "[horizontal ellipsis]to cultivate vision and being that are in step for the opening of new times."


In her recent book (Jump Time, Shaping Your Future in a Time of Radical Change), Houston notes that we are witnessing "[horizontal ellipsis]the changing of the guard at every level." Nursing faculty may be encouraged to note that Houston sees our young generation as international thinkers by nature. She feels that people all around the world are searching for visions and innovative strategies to support cooperation. Leaders of the future will be social artists who are able to "[horizontal ellipsis]be the leaders of these changes and guide the next phase with commitment, skill, and radical empathy."


Perhaps in a time of escalating change for healthcare and nursing education we can examine some of Houston's statements in relation to these changes. She notes that we must generate our ideas and plans from new levels of thinking such as intuition, wisdom, imagination, and practical visioning. These strategies and challenges are relevant to nursing education, research, and practice.


Source: PlexusNewsBannner. In new cultures arising by the internet's electronic river ancient wisdom resonates and polyphrenia is healthy. Thursday Complexity Post. October 21, 2010. Available at Accessed November 1, 2010.


Submitted by: Robin E. Pattillo, PhD, RN, CNL, News Editor at