The Relational Imperative: Resources for a World on Edge (Paperback)
We enter an era of the unknown - global conditions move with unprecedented speed, unpredictably, disruptively, and uncontrollably. Conflict is unceasing and increasingly polarized. Global warming and the spread of deadly diseases are a threat to all. How are we to go on? One thing is clear: in these perilous conditions working together is imperative. As Gergen advances in this clear and compelling work, successful collaboration requires a radical transformation in our understanding of relationships. So long as we cling to the view that relationships are made up of separate entities - persons, communities, organizations or nations - our survival will be threatened. Rather, as Gergen proposes, we must reverse our understanding: it is out of the process of relating that emerge what we take to be the entities and their character. Care for the entities must be replaced by care for the process. This brief introduction to a relational perspective is bountifully illustrated with innovative practices - in education, healthcare, organizational development, peace building and more. All function to enhance well-being through relational process.