In The Dance of We, I use both serious and humorous stories from my personal life, from my work with students, families and businesses, as well as familiar examples from religion and politics to highlight four key characteristics of dysfunctional systems:
1) They treat their people as objects;
2) They create separation;
3) They control or stifle the flow of information, communication, and creativity;
4) They demand allegiance to the system’s values over personal values.
Drawing from Martin Buber’s writings on I-Thou relationships and my own experience working with organizations, I put forth a prescription for more healthy human systems. This prescription includes four fundamental principles on which Life-affirming human systems are based:
1) The Principle of Interconnectedness.
Recognizing that “we are all in this together” as interconnected and interdependent parts of the web of life.
2) The Principle of Honoring Life.
Cherishing the life that is expressing through each one of us by being grateful for it, learning from it, sustaining it, and enhancing it through our actions and in our relationships.
3) The Principle of Respect and Inherent Value. Understanding and respecting that you and I exist simultaneously and equally as unique human beings with inherent value as expressions of Life.
4) The Double Golden Rule.
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you; and, do unto yourself as you would have others do unto you.
And finally, in The Dance of WE, I give very specific and practical ways to use one’s power and love together to express the above principles through mindfulness practice, through working with our mindsets about ourself and others, and in how we communicate.
This book is a synthesis and culmination of what I have learned in my thirty-five years as a licensed family therapist, international business consultant, and university professor. This focus of my professional life, along with my young adult experience in a cult, has given me a varied and extensive
understanding about human systems and how they work --- and don’t work.
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The fundamental goals of The Dance of We are two-fold: to help the reader see systemically, in order to better understand the families, businesses and other organizational worlds in which they live; and to help the reader rehumanize dysfunctional systems and create more Life-affirming ones through new ways of being in those systems.
Like the fellow in the cartoon below, most people do not understand systems and the implications of our interconnectedness and interdependence in our daily
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