Connection and Independence

The ability to connect well with others, forming an effective sense of contact, togetherness and community while retaining our independence, voice and autonomy is a difficult balance but Fritz Perls' 'Gestalt Prayer' relieves us of any sense of guilt or failure while holding open the joyful potential:


I do my thing and you do your thing.

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you, and I am I,

and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.

If not, it can't be helped.



Fritz Perls on Wikipedia





Steve MarshallComment
Relational spaces in a transactional world

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

(Not quite Voltaire) 



I wonder how Voltaire would have fared in the highly charged, unequivocal discussions and aggressive debates that characterise today's political and (social) media communications?

Assertions are made, positions are taken and defended, it gets personal, and the shouting starts.

Troll. Rocket Man. Dotard. Deplorable. Front-stabber. Remoaner. Pleb. Denier...

More than ever, we need people who can ‘hold’ a conversation; help us avoid binaries, work with uncomfortable complexity and avoid the collapse into unfounded certainty.

And, we need the courage and resolve to relentlessly empower each other in the creation of relational, dialogic, shared spaces that catalyse generous, considered, critical conversations worthy of Voltaire’s offer.  




Sticklers will know that the Voltaire quote is thought to be a misattribution by Evelyn Beatrice Hall as an illustration of his beliefs in her book, ‘The Friends of Voltaire.'

Jane Riddiford ~ "Vision grows in the footsteps of shared commitment" - The Photo-Dialogues





Steve MarshallComment
Resolution and revolution

Despite all the hype about our 'VUCA' world and the latest innovations being hailed as 'disruptive' or 'game changing', permanence and enduring pattern are still a feature of our lives.  

Which means that the role of the radical continues to be fraught with difficulty and stress.  

Powerful, established players seek to win through game changing advantage.

But not too much.

Too much change disturbs existing power structures and the interventionists eventually place themselves at risk.

Rather than playing the game to gain advantage and be the first to cross the finish line, we are more likely to achieve genuine revolution if we simply play for the sake of it.

So, whether you are aiming to shift the commercial world or planning your New Year life, play without aiming for resolution.

Next year, resolve to play for the fun and laughter of being in the game.



'VUCA': a suddenly popular business acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous is a product of US military terminology during the cold war. 

Tempered Radicalism and the Politics of Ambivalence and Change - a scholarly paper by Debra Meyerson and Maureen Scully





Steve MarshallComment