New Thought Editorials > A Declaration of Interdependence

 

Summer 1999

A Declaration of Interdependence

In the United States of America, July is a time for picnics and patriotism, for fun and flag-waving. It is a time when United States citizens express pride in their nation. New Thought could only have come into existence in the remarkable climate of freedom that this nation’s foundational political philosophy provides by emphasizing the rule of law rather than law makers, individual rights rather than group privileges, respect for property rather than redistribution by force, and our common identity rather than a divisive diversity. As New Thoughters we proudly proclaim our independence, our freedom to choose our thoughts and our way of life.

Ten years ago, author Stephen Covey wrote his best-seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It was based on a study of 200 years of American success literature, and it was therefore based on New Thought principles. Covey describes a maturity continuum that we all follow as we develop: we begin as infants, dependent on others; and our emphasis is on you, because you can take care of me. Gradually, we achieve independence, and our emphasis shifts to I, now that I can stand on my own. But the highest level of maturity is interdependence, which is a choice that only independent people can make. When we make that choice, our emphasis shifts again, this time to we. What can we accomplish together that we can’t accomplish alone? The synergy of two or more independent points of view or sets of skills takes us farther than any of us could have gone by ourselves.

Interdependence is neither a least-common-denominator watering-down nor a lock-step political correctness that tries to make people feel guilty for holding opposing viewpoints. On the contrary, interdependence provides plenty of room for reasonable people to disagree agreeably. "You disagree with me? Good!" says Covey. "If two of us see things exactly the same way, one of us is unnecessary." But if we combine our two or more points of view, we achieve a richer, fuller, more balanced end result. We create a shared vision that empowers and transforms us.

Paradoxically, it is by respecting each other as individuals that we create the shared perspective, not by submerging the rights of the individual into those of the group. It is by respecting the contribution of each individual that we build a powerful, many-faceted organization. Everyone’s talents and inputs matter. Therefore, the INTA Congress is not a spectator sport where you come, sit back, and get entertained. It is a participatory activity. We need your talents, and most especially, we need your prayers. We need your uplifted consciousness that beholds the Christ. We need your enthusiastic participation in the fun and laughter of the assemblies, and in the parliamentary process at the membership meetings. We need your glad giving, both of money and of ideas. INTA is colored by your consciousness. It will be a little different by your presence in it, for you are part of the background out of which it grows.

If INTA is to transform the world, all of us as individual members must model that transformation. It is a choice that we can only make as independent thinkers who are willing to commit ourselves to living principle-centered lives based on the teachings set forth by Jesus and advocated by all the New Thought founders. We do not accept the past unchanged—or adopt the changes of the future—without first giving them careful, critical, and prayerful examination. Come to the Congress and work with us interdependently to change the world for the better!