interdependence – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: interdependence

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I–It, I–Thou, I–THIS

“We cannot avoid using power, cannot escape the compulsion to afflict the world, so let us, cautious in diction and mighty in contradiction, love powerfully.” —Martin Buber I first came across Martin Buber when I was in college. I had had no exposure to spiritual thinkers at the time. Buber, a Jewish philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue, was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature ten times and the Nobel Peace Prize Read More

Artwork by Do-Ho Suh | Photographer: Carol M. Highsmith | Source: Library of Congress

The Masses and the Margins

“And the soul is like the eye: when resting upon that on which truth and being shine, the soul perceives and understands and is radiant with intelligence; but when turned towards the twilight of becoming and perishing, then she has opinion only, and goes blinking about, and is first of one opinion and then of another, and seems to have no intelligence.” —Plato, Republic, VI, 508 I worked in inmate rehabilitation for eight years in Read More

Featured Author: George Yancy

On June 19th in the New York Times, George Yancy published a Stone article entitled “Is Your God Dead?” I was so inspired by the power and prose of his piece that I am turning the microphone over today to this brilliant scholar will not only give you a break from my endless ranting, but will hopefully rekindle your outrage and stoke your passion for justice. After I read this piece for the third time (yes, Read More

Title: Nulle chose ne peut être détruite | Author: Bruno Malfondet | License: CC0

Disruption, Destruction, and Distraction

Independence Day 2017 “Power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive. And it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.” —George W. Bush, 2017 Disruption can be for better for worse. Luckily for me, the two major disruptions in my life turned out for the better. In 1968, at age 23, I was sent to Vietnam as a soldier in Military Read More

Credt: David Gabriel Fischer | www.thezendiary.com | License: CC BY-NC-ND

The Sacred and the Significant

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” —Joseph Campbell

In her role as a Pretend Princess dressed in her frilly yellow gown complete with a crown on her head, my 5 year old granddaughter imperiously issued a solemn proclamation to her constituency: “Be kind, be truthful, and stay alive.”

[ C ] Chuck Close - Dalai Lama (2005) | Credit: cea+

Helping or Hurting

It’s Day One after the election of 2016. I feel sick and scared. Who better to suggest a remedy for our spiritual malaise and existential crisis than the Dalai Lama? In a recent article in the New York Times (November 4, 2016), the Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks co-authored a column: “Behind our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded.” It seems like an odd couple to me, but their message is profound. They point out Read More

My grandchildren, Annie and Ezra, on their first day of Pre-K

Imperfect Friends

No friend is perfect. Some let you down. Some disappear in a crisis. Some say the wrong words in their attempts to be helpful. Some just move on. And yet, as individuals, we need friends to survive and grow; and, as a society we need more civility, respect, and acceptance of differences if we are going to resolve the divide that plagues us. In a recent column, David Brooks said: “The great challenge of our Read More

Photograph of Rick and Bobbitt

Three Types of Trust

I’ve been married to the same woman for 46 years, and I can say unequivocally that I totally trust her. I trust her to do the right thing, I trust her to not throw me the under the bus (even though I have given her many opportunities), and I trust her to stand up for people in need of special help. When she makes a statement, I know it is based on sound research; she Read More

Lithograph by Emily Bellingham, 2009. http://www.siteesite.com

Mathematics and Metaphysics

 “Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.” “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” —Bertrand Russell I used to love algebra as a kid. It’s such an elegant language. And it’s based on a beautiful principle: you can do anything to one side of an equation as long as you do the same Read More

"Porst SP Old Plank Road 2," by Flickr user J Jakobson https://www.flickr.com/photos/30811353@N04/

Concepts and Skills

Stephen Ambrose, in his new book describing the construction of the Transcontinental railroad, Nothing Like It In the World, suggests that trains were the primary vehicle for introducing the industrial revolution. He quotes an engineer who said, “where a mule can go, I can make a locomotive go.” The poetry of engineering requires both the imagination to conceive and the skills to execute. We use concepts to frame our imagination, we use skills to build Read More

https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/

The Three Dimensions of Leadership Development

Everyone has an opinion on leadership. Amazon offers over 300,000 books with “leadership” in the title and about 4 new books per day are published by aspiring gurus or established academics. It seems like leadership commands as much curiosity as religion. Why is that? I think there are three reasons. First, readers are looking for different solutions for their particular needs. Some want to learn the secrets of a one-minute manager. Others want an in-depth Read More

https://www.flickr.com/photos/melisande-origami/

The Seven Dimensions of Leadership Assessment

In my work as an executive coach over the past 30 years, I have developed a useful methodology for assessing leaders. It combines the best approaches I have learned from multiple sources. When I first started in this profession, the prevailing perception was that anyone who needed a coach was in trouble. The coach was hired to fix a problem. Fortunately, that perception has evolved over the years. Now, executives without a coach are questioned Read More

Red Budlea | Author: Kevin Pulker | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Consciousness and Culture

“Love is the motive, but justice is the instrument.” —Reinhold Niebuhr I have had a lot of heroes in my life. There are, of course, the historically popular figures like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Einstein, Churchill, and the Roosevelts (Teddy, FDR, and Eleanor). Add there are people currently living who make my list as well, like Nicholas Kristof, Gloria Steinem, and Barack Obama. As a result of some recent books Read More

Photo of Interlochen in 1966. Interlochen started off as National Music Camp in 1928--it's been around for a while. Credit: Flickr user Up North Memories https://www.flickr.com/photos/upnorthmemories/

Community and Connection

Walking onto the campus of Interlochen Arts Academy is like walking into a different world. For one, there is as much artistic genius per square foot as there is mathematical genius at MIT. There is also a richness of diversity. In a typical summer, 2,500 kids from all over the world and practically every state attend the camp for four to eight weeks of intense study in music, drama, creative writing, dance, and/or visual arts. Read More

Full Rainbow | Credit: Jakob Owens | License: CC0

Step Back

In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In became a massive cultural phenomenon, and its title became an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of best-seller lists both nationally and internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theaters, dominated op-ed pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership.

Title: Light | Author: Daniel Horacio Agostini

Harmonious Inclusion

I recently visited the Brooklyn Museum to see Judith Scott’s exhibit, “Bound and Unbound.” It was an amazing exhibition that displayed the chronology and complexity of Ms. Scott’s work with innovative sculptures, unique designs, diverse materials, and beautifully blended colors. What made it even more remarkable was her biography. Judith Scott was born deaf with Down’s Syndrome. At age 7, she was placed in a state institution and remained there until the age of 42. Her Read More

Grass | Author: Johan Blomström

Holism

Holism is the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, i.e. the whole is more than the sum of its parts. If you believe in the power of synergy, then 2+2 may equal 5. While it is sometimes very useful from a scientific point of view to break things down into smaller and smaller Read More

"Ai Weiwei at AGO," | Author: Alyx Dellamonica

Development or Deterioration

As I turn 70, I’m sure the first thought that crosses peoples’ minds when they meet me now is, “He’s old!!” Most people associate aging more with accelerated deterioration than continuing development. But I think there is no end point for development. Growth may take a different form or shape, but it doesn’t need to end.

Credit: Valeria Boltneva | License: CC0

Possibility

As the world veers ever more perilously toward the precipice, it doesn’t seem like a giant leap to suggest that we need a major shift in thinking and relating. Essentially, we need to start thinking about ourselves as connected vs. separate and we need to start relating to each other interdependently vs. competitively. This post will address the possibilities of making that shift and the planetary potential if we can make it happen. I will Read More

Polar bear, photo by Rick Bellingham

Interdependence

The featured photo in this post shows a polar bear in the Arctic Circle. This bear is at risk of extinction because we have failed to recognize that we are a part of an interdependent ecosystem. As a result of human behavior, the climate is changing so rapidly that the ice melt is threatening the bear’s ability to find food. In a recent article in the New York Times, “Capitalism Eating its Children,” Roger Cohen Read More

Author: Elizabeth Lies

Conscious Dualism

Dualism means the tendency of humans to perceive and understand the world as being divided into two discrete categories. Dualism exists in many belief systems including Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. In these beliefs the universe is divided into the complementary oppositions, e.g. good and evil. In traditions such as classical Hinduism, Zen Buddhism or Sufism, a key to enlightenment is “transcending” this sort of dualistic thinking.

Title: Orbits / Quadrature (DE) | Credit: Ars Electronica / Martin Hieslmair

The Consciousness Solution

“You can’t solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Einstein

Over the course of human history there have been on-going discussions from a variety of sources (religious, social, political, etc.) about how nice it would be if our global civilization could be more harmonious and enlightened. Creating a new platform for civilization is now a requirement for our survival.