Towards Flourishing Together
How we care about the environments we inhabit! Environments dear to us we protect, passionately! Environments useful to us we develop, resourcefully, but often unmindfully of what they mean to others.
Environmentalists often focus on natural environments, but mostly, humans care about social environments. Parents care about the neighborhood where they’re raising their children. Employees care about their workplace environments. Educators want classrooms that stimulate learning. Business people care about the markets through which they make their livelihood.
With so many parties pursuing so many goals, conflict is inevitable. The stability on which some rely falls victim to the improvement another pursues. In my research and experience change and conflict perennially become obstacles to the cooperation that produces mutual benefit. And I have observed five habits of thought that dissolve conflict and restore cooperation.
My new book, Together, is a capstone project that grew from a seminar in applied ethics called Wisdom and Sustainability. Carolyn Jabs, one of the students in that seminar, was an experienced journalist. Together we have written a book that describes these five dispositions – virtues if you will – that make sustainability more likely in any environment.
The book is jammed with examples drawn from a lifetime of scholarship and activism. We’ve distilled the five virtues into a specific set of practices that extricate people from destructive conflicts that so often seem insuperable. Over and over, I have seen these ideas succeed in environments as small as families and as large as legislatures. Many are on display in the way I live.
I’m glad you’ve found my website. I hope you’ll read (the soon-to-be-published) Cooperative Wisdom. I enjoy skyping, giving talks and workshops, and I am always eager to hear from people who are enmeshed in conflict or who have found creative solutions to perennial problems. We have much to learn from each other about how to nurture the cooperation that sustains environments and promotes flourishing for the people who inhabit them.