The Positive Interdependence Imperative – Interdependence is a foundation of holistic positivity!
It supports the principles of Positive Psychology with Engagement, Meaning, and Positive Relationships to support well-being.
“Interdependence is a foundational principal of the Positive Imperative. Interdependence is Imperative for us to evolve.” ~ Victor Sinclair
“At this crossroads of history, we have a choice. We can either emphasize the exclusive and chauvinist elements that are found in all our traditions religious or secular or those that reach us to celebrate the profound interdependence and unanimity of the human race.”
I find it interesting how far we can come, and still don’t know that we don’t know which is why it is imperative to evolve. For years I thought I really understood the word Integrity and if you’d asked me, I would have told you I can teach it. Then I took Landmark Forum and quickly understood I may have really only had a small portion of the word understood, as the word now took on dimensions of authenticity and congruence that I would never have applied to it.
For years I would have told you I thought I understood interdependence, until one lunch hour I spent with Alanis Morrisette. We had been talking about many different interests and she had really impressed me with how community minded she was, getting involved in all sorts of efforts like public speaking and peer counseling. I had been reading one of my favorite books Stephen Covey’s 7 Highly Effective Habit of Successful People, and though it may have been deemed a targeted book for Psychology and Business (The teen edition had not been written) I decided to recommend the book to Alanis. Much to my surprise, she came over to my side of the desk and turned to page 24, and read it aloud stating that this was her favorite passage in the book.
“Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be good leaders or team players. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.”
~ Stephen Covey.
She was only 18 or 19 at the time, and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. For the next couple of years, I told people she was going to go the distance as she had all the goals mapped out on her transition from a minor and unsuccessful career in Canadian music to an International Superstar in L.A. Little did I know she had most of the songs from Jagged Little Pill in her knapsack on the floor beside my desk, and what would become the most successful selling album in Canadian Music history. For the next few years I would again meet up with her at different music functions and when we did the pic shot held up 7 fingers to commemorate one of our favorite books.
What the encounter did though really got me to go back and reread and contemplate the many touch points that Stephen Covey did on Interdependence and it’s applications to the family, society and more. As I studied the subject of interdependence I learned it had many origins from the Kabbalah to Buddha and many students from Carl Marx to Mahatma Gandhi. As I worked in many parts of the not for profit industry and volunteerism I saw the applications applied over and over. I also saw the huge gap in people understanding it’s universal applications. I did more easily because I had not made the connection myself at one point. People get it on one level on a global issue like famine or aids in Africa but would miss it on many other levels like how they drove their car or how they responded to the environment.
“All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality; tied in a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.
I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
This is the inter-related structure of reality.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Interdependence is really the foundation of the application of the 3rd tenant of the Positive Imperative. Respond positively to all things, at all times everywhere, and to take on the responsibility of that declaration. It’s a real profound Paradigm shift for a lot of people, but it’s also the biggest gap in the world today. People don’t contemplate that each action breeds an equal or reaction and that all actions are Positive Neutral or Negative and play a profound impact on the world as those ripples eventually turn into waves and reach far distant shores. We can’t comprehend that how we treat someone in Chicago Illinois, or Tampa Florida will ever have an effect on someone in Auckland New Zealand or Mumbai India. The Internet is quickly teaching us the reality of the six degrees of separation and with that comes the notion that many ripples hit many currents and winds that change their direction ultimately reaching a shore that no one ever could have predicted and more specifically touching the feet of someone in a far distant shore, or in fact touching their neighborhood on the very same beach a month later.
We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.
Over and over again I play out the effects and causes of father-absent homes, the lack of an effective mentor to make a positive intervention on the teens who were recklessly shooting their guns in gang warfare in downtown Toronto and the senseless killing of a sixteen-year-old girl named Jane Creba by a stray bullet while she was shopping with her sister on boxing day 2005.
Like the 2009 movie The Blind Side, showed, with hope love and guidance every inner city kid has the chance to succeed. The kids who don’t have that stability need support, someone to believe in them. There are thousands who answer the call. They are volunteers who are a big brother or big sister, every participant in a mentor program or boys and girls club or those who have coached an inner-city sports team but didn’t stop the coaching when the practice was over. Each and every one of those participating as a volunteer is an acknowledgment of our Interdependence.
However, on the other side where fathers haven’t honored their responsibility and Uncles haven’t filled the gap, a big brother was not there and youth have fallen prey to the dark side and eventually commit a senseless act of violence, it becomes a testimony where both family and community have ignored it.
Just one major negative can set into motion a ripple domino effect of more negatives. We formed one of the 3 Positive Imperative tenets from that idea and called it the PosiRatio (Negatives to 10 x the damage).
A simple example of how the PosiRatio works with a Negative Ripple.
So you start with a father absent home, (-1), the mom has to work two jobs and therefore is absent a large part of the week (-2), the siblings will likely have an undue stress of raising and looking after themselves (-3), the children grow up with resentment (-4), and a lack of positive role models (-5), which the law of displacement fills with bad influences and role models and they join a gang (-6), which culminates in negative values like solving disputes with guns (-7), which end the life of Jane Creba on June 26th 2005, (-8), for which they will now spend years in incarceration ending any and all youth left and exposing them to more violent culture for years, (-9) and are you ready for #10?. #10 goes like this, starting a who other ripple effect which sadness, helplessness, and grief struck Jane’s sister, (-10a), parents (-10b) extended family, Uncles, Aunts, cousins, etc. (-10c), friends/classmates teachers who were still getting grief counseling 3 years after the shooting, (-10d), bystanders (-10e), first responders (-10f), the public at large (-10g). there are 7 more ripples and of course we can not start on the parents of the offenders, their siblings, etc. etc. and of course, we did not event start in on the six other bystanders who got shot, four men and two women. So when we say 10 x the damage, please understand it is really 10 x 10.
Not all father-absent home create kids who join gangs and thank heaven’s for that, however, you could go off and detail another 10 items with just about every father-absent home that will culminate in anything from poorer grades to long term self-image issues as an adult. Also, you could start this negative domino from many other points like the guy who recruited the gang members, the guy who sold the gun, and so on.
There is NO FENCE sitting. You are either a part of the solution or a part of the problem. You can’t solve all of the world’s problems but you can solve some, and which side of the fence you sit on when all is said and done will determine if you are either a giver or a taker.
“When you tug at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world.”
Why is working towards Interdependence so critically important?
The velocity of the world is speeding up drastically. I often said to my students more changes in a week today than did in a week in the 80s and likely that has now sped up to every couple of days. Understanding and implementing the understanding of Interdependence is now more crucial than ever before. We need to be all rowing in the same direction, as in the end we only are one people, in one row boat, on one planet called earth and it is our responsibility to commit our one life to rowing in unison.
Single cells analyze thousands of stimuli from the microenvironment they inhabit. The more awareness an organism has of its environment, the better its chances of survival. When cells band together they increase their awareness exponentially. Division of labor among the cells in the community offers an additional survival advantage. The efficiency enables more cells to live on less. Evolution is based on an instructive, cooperative interaction among organisms and their environment enables life forms to survive and evolve in a dynamic world
Imagine the endless Possibilities of Interdependence. Imagine the world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That PosiRipple was started by ONE PERSON named Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales when he enrolled hundreds of thousands of people to embrace the idea and change the way knowledge is created forever. Another fantastic illustration of the Power of One to start the momentum to harness the power of interdependence.
PIQ Positive Imperative Question. What ripples are you going to start or participate in?