Enriching connections

Editorial: At a time of financial recession, we have the opportunity to remember that the greatest assets we have are each other. Our greatest currency is our social bonds. And our greatest capital is the content of the human heart

Perhaps the most vital thing that human beings can do better than any other species on Earth, when we choose to, is to care. To recognise and respond – with more than just our intellects – to the value and beauty of life beyond ourselves, and its necessity to our own ability to survive and thrive, is surely the greatest economic principle.

We need to nurture these “enriching connections” to each other and the web of life, as Charles Eisenstein proposes, if we are to create societies where all people have the opportunity to flourish.

Fortunately, there are sure signs of this taking place. People-powered initiatives like Rolling Jubilee or Free Money Day are revealing our goodwill and challenging the economic frameworks that promote a mentality of scarcity and self-interest. There is no cause for a global recession of kindness.

Many people have real and acute crises and difficulties to face, but it is only ourselves who can impose austerity on the human spirit.

Scientific researchers such as positive psychologist Martin Seligman and ethicist Stephen Post have shown the enduring benefits to our wellbeing of both giving and gratitude, as well as of having meaningful goals.

As we recognise our interconnection, value cooperation and compassion, and see this as the foundation for a functional society and economy, we also find that serving the web of life in whatever way we can, however seemingly small, is also a way to reach individual happiness.

I hope that the articles in the winter 2012 print edition of Positive News offer a reminder of the abundance of care that humanity has at its disposal, the ways in which it is manifesting in our lives, and its potential to transform our world.