All Relationships Are Equally Interdependent

by Dianne Eppler Adams

“…everything and everyone in Life is experienced as being One With You in the moment you accept that you are One With God.”

Neale Donald Walsh, The New Revelations, pg.186


When Thomas Jefferson wrote the American Declaration of Independence from England in 1776, the words “we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal” expressed a revolutionary thought. Most people at the time did not find this idea at all self evident, considering slavery was flourishing and women were neither educated nor able to vote.

Today in the U.S. we still seek to understand the meaning and demonstrate the promise of the equality that document declared. It has been suggested that equality refers to equality of opportunity, rather than exact sameness. But, could there still be more to learn about what equality means and how we would behave differently if we discovered its greater meaning?

I offer an enhancement to Jefferson’s concept that, if understood, could greatly add to its meaning and to our ability to live this Truth in our daily lives.

All relationships are equally interdependent – each a unique interaction between unique aspects of creation – and are to be treated with fairness, respect, honesty and compassion.

“All relationships” means every relationship we can imagine – personal, communal, corporate, national, and international – and some we may not have thought about such as with animals, vegetables and even minerals.

At the personal level, let’s say with our spouse or significant other, it may be easily recognized that healthy intimate relationships naturally include fairness, respect, honesty and compassion. Of course, examples are plentiful of relationships, perhaps in our own families, that have broken the honesty clause or have missed opportunities for loving compassion – models of what doesn’t work in relationships. Numerous self-help books that coach a way of being in intimate relationships that recognizes interdependence and encourages the values of fairness, respect, honesty and compassion, have helped bring this to awareness.

What about other relationships, however? Let’s see how radical shifts in our relationship behavior may occur when this idea is applied to some other relationships beyond our most intimate ones.

In our community, applying the standard of fairness, respect, honesty, and compassion would alter how we make zoning decisions, meet the needs of the homeless, and find job opportunities for the unemployed. Knowing our interdependence, we would recognize that mental health and drug treatment programs are simply our own personal healthcare through the means of community efforts and we would place greater value on their importance. Educational opportunities for everyone would abound.

What about corporations? US law currently views corporations as persons, with rights of free speech, etc. It may seem strange to apply this to corporation relationships, but the same holds true. The relationships between a corporation and its stockholders, its employees, its customers, or the community in which it operates are all equally interdependent. Fairness, respect, honesty and compassion are still applicable in each of these relationships and none is more important than the other. Currently, stockholders receive the greatest attention, while employee relations, even community relations are simply a necessary but troublesome matter. Imagine how many less lawyers would be needed to defend or demand good corporate relationships.

How differently our national governments would function. For one thing, politics would become an honorable profession reserved for the most ethical among us. Our representatives would not only seek the support of those with money and influence, they would know that without exhibiting a sense of fairness, respect, honesty, and compassion to all their constituents, they would have no job. In theory, that is how things should work now. One reason that doesn’t happen is that we fail to see our interdependence with our elected officials. All eligible voters would treasure the opportunity to express their interdependence with their nation by voting in every election and using the measure of fairness, respect, honesty, and compassion to determine their choice. Winning election to public office would become as respected as receiving the Noble Peace Prize, a sign of high integrity and a commitment to equal interdependence.

Some say we will always have wars, that wars are an inevitable part of the human existence. That may have been true when humanity was operating only through the animal-like, instinctive impulse of competition and conquest. However, under the doctrine of equal interdependence of any nation to any other nation, there would be no need for conquest or loss of life on either side. If nations began to recognize and practice fairness, respect, honesty and compassion between them, conflict resolution would look very different. Differences that naturally occurred would be approached with an expectation of a solution because we realized our own best interests – peace and harmony – could be achieved through negotiation and cooperation. What a magnificent exchange of cultures, ideas, foods, and religious traditions would flourish when all nations knew equally their interdependence with every other nation!

All relationships are not only human, however. The natural world - the plants, animals, and Earth herself – is intimately connected to and important for the sustaining our human existence. Our scientific, mechanistic view of life has resulted in a separation in our relationship to nature, to the point of peril for our children’s future. Yet, our interdependence with nature couldn’t be more evident. We depend on plants, through photosynthesis, to produce the very oxygen we breathe, while plants are dependent on our exhaling carbon dioxide to fuel their life, also through photosynthesis. Clearly, we damage ourselves as we wreak damage on the natural world.

All possible applications of this principle to all possible relationships have not been presented. It is left to you to consider and discover how this concept, if broadly and sincerely applied, would change the quality of all your relationships.

Why not spend some time considering just how this applies to all your various relationships? What changes will you make in your relationship when you understand their equal interdependence? How can your behavior exhibit more fairness, respect, honesty and compassion as you relate?

What if you started today treating all relationships with the same fairness, respect, honesty, and compassion? And be sure you don’t forget your relationship with yourself. How much more quickly you would discover a more loving, peaceful, cooperative world!

Your soul and God are counting on it.

I propose that we update the American Declaration of Independence to express a higher level of understanding of what is possible after over 200 years of history have passed. Call it a Declaration of Interdependence.

We hold this truth to be self-evident

We are All In This
Together.

Therefore we live this truth
in our lives, communities and societies,
and thrive together into a long future
that we create together.

We are the world
that is awakening
to both the fact and the opportunity
of our interdependence --
fully, finally and beyond a shadow of doubt.

We are the world,

Who are making
ourselves a good world
that works for all people and all life.
Because we know the Greatest Secret
of All:

"We are All
in this Together."1

1 Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute (http://www.co-intelligence.org), P.O. Box 493, Eugene, OR, 97440.
Email: cii@igc.org

© 2003 Dianne Eppler Adams