Convention Theme – Continued…
Many spiritual traditions converge with certain aspects of modern science in a basic understanding of life as one interdependent whole. In the natural world, for example, if predators are removed from an ecosystem, the herbivores multiply beyond the available grass and the entire ecosystem is endangered. Our global economy is now recognized to be interdependent as well: if one country falls into an economic crisis, a cascading effect can destabilize the entire global economy. On the human plane, recent developments in neuroscience lead many to conclude that our apparently separate brains are interwoven: others’ responses and expressions affect us in a direct way through mechanisms such as the firing of mirror neurons. These phenomena and so many others are examples of interdependence as a fact of life.
At the same time as our awareness of this level of interdependence is growing, our capacity as individuals to engage in behaviors that recognize and engage with our interdependence is diminishing. Interdependence as a practice invites us to consciously engage with ourselves and others in ways that honor and nurture our connection with all of life, [supporting us to] […] overcome our habits of separation, scarcity, and powerlessness, so we can co-create a life in which every single one of us matters.
[…] Conscious interdependence as a practice includes in it a commitment to everyone’s well-being. This commitment is a clear and profound antidote to the legacy of separation and scarcity that we have inherited. It is the most surprising principle of Nonviolent Communication for many people […]. The idea that in any given situation – be it with co-workers, vendors, children, lovers, or anyone else – we can commit to making things work for everyone comes as a profound revelation to people. When able to take it in fully, [we] tend to feel energized, liberated, and ready to apply [ourselves]. New options arise spontaneously with which [we] are eager to experiment.