• Sanna Rådelius

The tale about the circle and the square

Since university

I’ve been feeling like a circle.

There, during four years of explorations

of the human experience

this circle took form

and grew larger

and larger.

I was gifted with

a systemic view

of these complex creatures

called human beings.

I was gifted with

a human-centred



I was gifted with

an interdisciplinary foundation

and a collaborative skillset.

It created a circle

with creative power,

a deep love

for humanity

and respect

for the complexity

of both humans

and systems.

A circle had been born,

ready to

ravish the world.

But then

the circle met with

the square society.

”Well, either you need to

cut parts of yourself off

or make yourself smaller

to fit into our square.

Because you see

the system

you want to be part of,

and reap the benefits of,

is square,

not round.”

The circle yelled

”Hell, no!

I can’t work

like a square.

I will die

doing something

I don’t believe in!

It must be

possible to live

and act

like a circle!”

So the circle

started her own business.

”I’ll show you.”

she grunted.

And got to work.

She managed

to feed herself

and her family

as well as work with

what she found meaningful,

for many years.

She found other circles

to work with

and grow their common circle.

But it was rough.

A tough job

with many setbacks.

It took a lot of energy

to be a circle in a square world.

The circle felt like she was never really allowed

or appreciated for her talents

and gifts.

Even though the circles contributed

with so much value

to the square system.

But the square

was too square

to see it itself.

When you cut parts of yourself off

or make yourself smaller to fit in

for too long,

It is easy to lose faith

and become cynical

and bitter.

It happened to this circle too.

From time to time.

In those moments she felt lost.

”How am I to live in this square world

that I don’t believe is good

for any human being?

Do I really need to fit

into the square

to be able to put food on

the table?”

She was good at creating

Trojan horses

that managed to remind the square

that it might also

have been a circle

once upon a time.

Or at least that other shapes

come with different gifts

and we would be wise

to enlarge the system

for more shapes to fit in.

It was always reaffirming

to see the square

get lighter,


and get a little bit rounder

in the corners.

If only for a bit.

But when it got home

it always put on the

square suit again.

”GAH, is it ever gonna change?!”

The bitterness grew.

Until one day

when the circle

with the help of another circle

was confronted with a mirror.

In the mirror

she could see

how big she was.

She had not realized,

as she had been so busy

with making herself smaller

and cutting parts of herself off,

that she was in fact HUGE!

She looked herself in the mirror

and laughed to herself,

”Oh geez.

This circle

that I am

is so big

that I can Hold

the square!

I don’t need to fit in

to something I am not.

I can hold space

for all of these squares,


and welcome them

into the circle

whenever they are ready.

Because here,

there is enough space

for both circles

and squares

and all other shapes!”

From that day

she promised herself

to never try to fit into a square again.

Instead, she would

embrace the square

and mirror it

its squareness

and welcome it

to explore and create


a rounder world.

If only for a bit.

One step at a time.

And so

life expanded.

And came back

into its roundness.

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