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October 2016




Relatedness and the Legitimate Other

"This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.”

… Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969) US President

SCARFThis month we continue with the fourth in our series of five articles on what we term our 'core concerns'. These core concerns speak to what is centrally important to us and we have a basic need to take care of them. We move away from a perceived threat to these concerns or move towards opportunities that we assess may enhance them. These core concerns also underpin many of our stronger emotional responses and the associated habitual actions these emotions predispose.

This time we will focus on our concern for relatedness.

Human beings are social beings. Every human being that has ever lived has lived in relationship with others. We need others to survive and to flourish. It is not a stretch to say that how we relate to others lies at the heart of our how we experience our life.

If you have been reading our e-zine for any length of time, you will no doubt appreciate that human relationships are a major theme of the ontological work. Even though I have previously spoken about authority as being the basis of how we relate to each, at its heart, the core concern of relatedness revolves around trust. Who do we see as our friends and our foes? What groups are we part of and which are we not?

This distinction seems to become more relevant with each passing day as countries become more polarised and more people, often encouraged by political or other community leaders, blame those outside their perceived community for their misfortune. Those outside the community are seen as 'others' and deemed to be of lesser importance than those inside the community. Left unchecked, these growing divides inexorably lead to a breakdown in society.

One major way of enhancing our relatedness is through personal growth. Personal growth can be seen in terms of a movement away from egocentrism, which can also be seen as being able to accept and appreciate other's perspectives. As we grow, it opens us up to being able feel part of a bigger and bigger community to a point where a person sees themselves as part of a world or universal community. To do this requires us to see those who may have different cultures, appearances or backgrounds to be 'legitimate others'. In the ontological work, we use this term to reflect the idea that all people see the world in a way that is legitimate for them and start from a basis that they see the world the way they do because of their circumstances and experiences. This does not mean we have to like their way of being just that we can appreciate it as legitimate for them. In doing this, we can seek to understand their way of observing and potentially accept them before discounting them as being 'not us'.

Such an approach allows for us to learn from others whom we might otherwise reject out of hand. It is also an approach that is needed if we are to bring diverse communities together.

Next edition, we will focus on the core concern of fairness.

If you have been reading these articles and wondering about your own core concerns, you might like to go and do a short self-assessment at the NeuroLeadership Institute.


Mind Health Matters

'But I Feel Good' Radio Show... is coming to an end!

‘But I Feel Good’ ...talking pink elephants and black dogs BIFGis broadcast to Melbourne's inner east on 94.1fm 3WBC, on your fav smart phone app or streaming live at www.3wbc.org.au every Monday 12-1pm AET until Monday 30th November.

The ‘But I Feel Good’ Content Only episodes are available for your perusal and listening pleasure at http://jacquichaplin.com/BIFGarchive.

‘But I Feel Good’ will be heard via syndication in central Victoria on 94.9 MAINfm Mondays 1-2pm AET until Monday 5th December.

If you’d like Jacqui to speak about mind health matters and resilience at your conference or to your organisation please contact her via email at jacqui@jacquichaplin.com or call +61 (0)412 741 531

“The most creative people have this childlike facility to play.”

... John Cleese (b. 1939) English Comedian

The Monthly Diversion

This month some kid humour from cleanjokes.com

Teacher: Name two states in the United States.
Mary: Pick me! Pick me!
Teacher: Mary?
Mary: I'll name one Taylor and the other one Charley!

Teacher: Joe, why are you doing your multiplication on the floor?
Joe: Because you told me to do it without using tables.

Teacher: Suzi, go to the map and find North America.
Suzi: Here it is.
Teacher: That's correct. Now, Bobby, who discovered North America?
Bobby: Suzi

Teacher: Jesse, why do you always get so dirty.
Jesse: Well, you see, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.

Teacher: Glen, what is the chemical formula for water?
Glen: H I J K L M N O
Teacher: Where did you get that?
Glen: Yesterday you told us it was H to O.

Teacher: Barry, your essay about your dog is exactly the same as your brothers. Did you copy his?
Barry: Ma'am. It's the same dog.

Teacher: Donald, how do you spell crocodile?
Donald: K R O K O D I A L
Teacher: No, that's wrong.
Donald: Maybe it is, but you asked me how I spell it.

Teacher: Name one important thing that we have today which we didn't have ten years ago.
Wendy: Me!

Teacher: George Washington chopped down the cherry tree, but then admitted it. Does anyone know why his father didn't punish him?
Brian: Because he still had the axe in his hand.

Teacher: Danny, do you say a prayer before eating?
Danny: No, ma'am. I don't have to. My mother is a good cook.

Teacher: Jake, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
Jake: A teacher.

"We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them."

... Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931) Lebanese Poet

Join Us Online

LinkedInDo you want to explore some of these ideas in more depth? Then, we invite you to join our LinkedIn Group and share any insights you may have. As others have done, we also invite to offer your own thoughts and conversations if they relate to the ontological approach. You can find us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting Group dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.


Chris has also written some in-depth essays on a number of topics related to the ontological work. If you would like to explore any of these essays then please click on the relevant image below.


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