The boons of connecting and collaborating are manifold. However it gets elusive since we are seldom conditioned to work collaboratively. However it can also boomerang if the collaborative partners are not chosen mindfully
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgement. It induces self-control, improves tolerance, enhances flexibility, improves concentration and mental clarity, emotional intelligence, and the ability to relate to others and one’s self with kindness, acceptance, and compassion.
A unique instance of mindfulness is when we immerse ourselves in someone’s experiences and simultaneously engage in a dialogue with the person. Here we may differ in our mutual points of view; we listen even if we don’t share their perspective and disagree with their opinion. A teacher loves her students unconditionally irrespective of his/her academic acumen. Not only are they interdependent, the teacher in fact determines the state of mind in which the student spends her day. A recent study shows that 83% of students say a teacher helped improve their confidence and self-esteem.
No human action can be considered to be achieved solely through individual effort. Every action is a consequence of a series of activities that precede it. Even an activity such as buying an apple from a supermarket involves a series of activities starting with nature, the farming process, subsequent logistics leading up to the product on the supermarket shelf from where it is purchased. There exists a bond of relationship with the buyer and the web of the world. We are all dependent on nature as well as on each other.
Interdependence exists at every level: from personal. Social, national, international. Developing countries depend for manufactured goods or aid from developed countries and the developed countries are dependent on the developing countries for raw materials such as steel and iron.
Exhibiting interdependence in our lives
We experience interdependence with all members of the family and friends. While it is worth taking time out for them, we could also try and engage in collaborative activities as far as possible. It leads to better outcomes and also reduces our differences. However we should be mindful of the company we keep, and be open to multiple solutions, after looking at the bigger picture with due mindfulness.
Independence and interdependence coexist
Our success has a direct bearing on the contribution of others and that of the environment. This is much like the role of salt in a preparation. With salt missed out, a dish with the best of ingredients could be rendered tasteless. We need to develop both our ‘intellect’ and ‘emotional awareness’.
Unfortunately, emotional interdependence is mostly equated with low self esteem. It is necessary to change this perception. Today we have independent mompreneurs who are interdependent on their children and family for cooperation while they run a business by themselves. We just need to be emotionally aware of our surroundings and have drive to achieve our goals
How do we implement it in our lives
It is simple: be kind to each other, have peace of mind and good health. These will endow you with a constant flow of positive energy through which your actions will exude mindfulness with a respect towards interdependence. This mindset will keep our ego away and help us accept reality.
About the authors
The article has been contributed by the following students from Our Lady Queen of the Missions School, Kolkata: Shafaeen Kausar, Diya Kamdar and Udipta Mitra.