The Book PDF Print E-mail

Human beings have two major tasks that must be addressed across the entire lifespan. From birth to death we confront the dilemma – how do we develop and maintain our independence or autonomy while, at the same time, maintaining our intimate connections with other people?

Some say that these two imperatives fall at the ends of a single line and are mutually exclusive. In this model, at the one end of the line are the “Independents” (people who are completely autonomous but are quite separate from others) and at the other end of the line are the “Dependents” (people who are very closely connected to others but can’t take care of themselves).

I disagree. I prefer to think in terms of two separate lines at right angles to each other. If you make a big cross, the vertical line can represent Autonomy (with Low at the bottom and High at the top) and the horizontal line can represent Connectedness (with Low at the left end and High at the right end). Each person can be rated on autonomy and connectedness. So, one person may rate themselves high on autonomy and low on connectedness, another may be low on autonomy and high on connectedness, a third person may be high on both, and a fourth may be low on both. Then, those ratings can be plotted on each of the two lines, and each person’s ratings will meet at a particular space within one of the four spaces created by the two crossed lines.

This book will try to reveal the complexity in each of us, and aim to help the reader reach a better understanding of his/her place in the matrix of dependence and connectedness.

To monitor this work in progress, visit The Blog.