I define a system as any two or more entities and the relationship(s) between them.
This extremely broad definition is vital because it must include anything and everything that can involve an energy transfer. Since that’s everything in the universe that I know of, the definition must be all-inclusive.
An entity doesn’t have to be a person. All it has to be is definable, and capable of participating in an energy transfer.
For instance, one very powerful system is the relationship between self and the perception of self. When the Perceived Self serves the Self to the point of its own diminution, its own loss of self-importance, one is said to be selfless. This can occur because the Self, when unencumbered by the noise and self-importance of the Perceived Self, recognizes its place in the greater system with no resistance.
When the Self serves the perception of self at the expense of other relationships, one is said to be selfish. One works for the continued benefit of the perceived self, in myopic fashion, having little or no care for the greater system or the relationships within it. Because of this, the Perceived Self becomes a sinkhole for energy. By it’s very nature, the Perceived Self cannot reciprocate energy investments. It could not be serving its purpose, self-aggrandizement, if it did. When the Perceived Self is the relationship we prioritize, it becomes an idol, a false god. And it can never reward us the way we hope, because in the end, it doesn’t actually exist.
Going from the intrapersonal to the interpersonal, we are all in a system together. Truthfully, we are likely in many interconnected systems. The power of these systems is the ability of the whole to influence the one, and the power of the one to influence the whole.
Much like a soup, every ingredient adds something to the flavor. A system changes because of the people in it. Companies are excellent case studies for this, small or large. Most (all?) of us have experienced that shift in office dynamic when staffing changed, especially in leadership. Different ingredients in, different flavors out.
The difference between us and the stew meat is that we can choose our flavor. We are responsible for the flavor in the soup.