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  • Foto van schrijverPieter Derycke

Changing a river

A metaphor I’d like to share.

You are a river. Your flow follows the forces of nature and the forms of your environment. An interplay of gravity, the path of least resistance, and the landscape give the river it’s shape. If you want to change the way you’re heading, than you need to change your environment. Obviously, because you can’t change the laws of nature.

You are a human animal. The way your life is heading is determined by the laws of biology and your environment. If you want to change the way you’re heading, it seems advisable to change your environment, because obviously, you can’t change the laws of biology.

We could also look at it from the other way.

If the environment of the river changes, the river will change too: a landslide, an earthquake, a fallen tree, but also a herd of animals wading through*, and even the touch of water strider bugs. They all change the river, some temporarily and minimally, some more lasting and drastically.

If your environment changes, you will change too! Your environment is physical, ecological, nutritional, social, thermal, mental, kinetic, psychological, …

Some rivers think that they fit their surroundings rather good. The bedding of the stream is perfectly made for the water to pass through. Of course this is a fallacy. The bedding is not made for the river, that is an illusion of the fluviocentric** river. The streambed makes the river and the river makes the streambed.

Choose your environment wisely…

Change your environment positively…

Thanks for reading,


Image credit: the water strider bugs are by one of my favorite illustrators Charley Harper

* For a very interesting talk about how an environment can change, view George Monbiot in his TED talk: “For more wonder, rewild the world”. It ads a fascination dimension to my metaphor.

** I just made that term up.


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