Signpostings

Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:
    scr.im/rwld

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at Sharewik.com

    [Content Caution]

Living the rWorld

Posted by Simon on November 29, 2010

Several months ago I endeavoured to reflect on one aspect of life through a relational lens, every day for 30 days. It covered a range of topics; social media, yard sales, education, CEOs, children, neuroscience, the mortgage crisis, my dad’s death, and more. It was an exhausting but fruitful exercise. And it proved the explanatory power of a model of Relational Proximity (see below). The original series is on my own blog, but I’m going to repost them here, slightly edited, over the next few weeks. I look forward to your reactions and your own stories.

I’m Simon Fowler, a Brit living in Boston, MA. I’m married with two young girls, and along with them, one of the greatest sources of joy is that I know my neighbors and see them regularly. Despite being born and growing up in the same house for the first 23 years of my life, now at age 43 for the first time in my life I feel like I’m rooted in a place. The basic, even mundane, fact of these neighborhood relationships is one major reason for my longing to see the rWorld grow in every area of life.

Dale’s argument, and mine, is that the foundation of human flourishing is relationship. Ultimately, the foundation is love, but love is predicated on relationship. We flourish to the degree we are connected or rather, proximate. “We” can be individuals, groups, institutions or countries, but the factors that enable good relationships are the same. The Relationships Foundation in Cambridge, England, has developed and practiced a model of Relational Proximity over the last 20 years:

There are at least five dimensions that strongly determine Relational Proximity:
1. Directness – the degree to which the relationship is unmediated and truthful
2. Continuity – the degree to which it has a history, the parties meet regularly, and it has an expected future
3. Multiplexity – the degree to which the parties know each other through different contexts
4. Parity – the degree to which there is a symmetry in power
5. Commonality/Purpose – the degree to which they share a sense of common purpose or identity

It’s important to recognize that you can have all of these and be devoid of love or commitment. But try love and commitment without them.

Follow this series and let’s see how the model helps explain everyday aspects of life. I hope you’ll enjoy it and engage in conversation with me.

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15 Responses to “Living the rWorld”

  1. […]  RSS – Posts RSS – Comments « Living the rWorld […]

  2. […] here for the introduction to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  3. […] here for the introduction to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  4. […] here for the introduction to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  5. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  6. […] 30 day series of reflections on various aspects of life through the lens of relationships. See the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  7. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  8. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  9. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  10. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  11. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  12. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  13. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  14. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

  15. […] the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational […]

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