Tag Archives: 2012march

Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency


As I reflecting upon being in India I am reading and thinking about Gandhi and his contributions to India and to the world.

Gandhi talks about the importance of connectedness between and among people.   He says, “Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency.  Man is a social being.  Without interrelation with society he cannot realize its oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism.”

As I think about these words I am drawn to consider the challenges we all face when people want to have their own thinking prevail over others.   In such a world there are winners and losers. This kind of thinking does lead to a oneness with the universe.  This kind of think is wrapped heavily in ego. I think that the complexity of the world requires people to listen, learn and think together.

The complexity of the world can lead adults to respond to problems in ways that are almost devoid of interdependent thinking in spite of the potential good that can come from collaboration.  Kegan and Lahey explain, “When we experience the world as ‘too complex’ we are not just experiencing the complexity of the world.  We are experiencing a mismatch between the world’s complexity and our own at this moment.  There are only two logical ways to mend this mismatch – reduce the world’s complexity or increase our own.”  Kegan and Lahey conclude that, despite the challenge of developing interdependent thinking skills, adults can develop their thinking.  In the interest of more effectively addressing the many challenges adults face, it is clearly worth increasing our own complexity by becoming thinkers who are good at thinking with others.

The promise of people thinking interdependently through contentious problem situations is that such efforts can ultimately achieve significant positive outcomes for society and/or for the individual. When we engage in interdependent thinking, we can all influence and be part of positive change.  We all will not get our way or be the ‘argument winner’.  But if we invest in the concept of thinking together with an open mind, a willingness to understand how others think and feel, and a desire to reflect and rethink throughout the process of coming to an actionable decision – we can accomplish much together. 

     Words of Gandhi by Richard Atenborough, Newmarket Press, 2000, page 75

Kegan, Robert, and Lahey, Lisa L. Immunity to Change. Boston, Massachusetts:Harvard Business Press, 2009 page 12 – 14



Here are pictures of a Tata Nano I saw while in India.  Tata Motors set out to make an efficient, low cost car that met all requirements of the Indian government.  The first Nano hit the streets of Mumbai in 2009.  Now they can be seen throughout India. It’s base price in US dollars, as of today, is $2,988.03. I think that meets the ‘low cost’ criteria they set out to achieve.

When was the last time a new car could be bought in the US for under $3,000?


Here is a link to pictures of traffic in India.

India and the Aakash ~ A Transformative Time in Indian Education

I have just returned from two weeks in India.

We had the good fortune to spend time in many sectors of modern India.  We visited a k – 12 school and talked with a the principal and the state commissioner of education.  They spoke of the fact that they would be providing every tenth grader with a laptop computer in the very near future at a cost of $35 per tablet.  That computer is the Aakash tablet.

As you can see from pictures I took of the school it is not a physical presence like that of American schools, yet by moving toward connecting students to the power of the world wide web they will have access to new and abundant learning opportunities.

In our visits with young Indian business and manufacturing leaders they explained that major efforts and capital are in place to make WiFi access available throughout the whole country of India over the next five years.  This will make it so the tablets will be able to access the internet outside of schools.

India’s current population is 1.2 billion people.  As the project unfolds to distribute Aakash tablets to students the opportunities for learning have just dramatically increase for students and citizen of India.


When you take a step forward, you are bound to disturb something. ~ Indira Gandhi

Begining to Reflect and Learn From the Two Weeks in India


Celebrating Thinking Together

 by Jerry Jennings


Tomorrow belongs to those that can collaborate and create in concert

Tomorrow’s promise is complex and thus requires interdependent thinkers

Those who listen and think together will realize tomorrow’s opportunities

Today’s people of the world have an opportunity to get good at thinking together


We can connect with each other to develop our collective dispositions, points of view and dreams

We can “grow” thinking by thinking together across differences

By thinking interdependently, we invest in the idea that good will come from the diversity of thought

We demonstrate that there is real human value in connecting: mind-to-mind


Mind-to-mind: not politely tolerating each other’s opportunity to talk

Mind-to-mind: not striving to be the winner – as if one’s thinking is the best

Mind-to-mind: not just sharing space with the appearance of broadmindedness and acceptance

Mind-to-mind: not argument-to-argument


Connecting mind-to-mind requires people of openness

Being willing to grow in our thinking will lead to new beginnings for the common good

Connecting mind-to-mind will increase learning together

Connecting mind-to-mind creates new relationships – new beginnings

We all learn differently

Does this information fit you or people you know well?  I think I am Auditory.





up, right

up, left



straight, down


level, right

level, left

down, left


down, right

Laborde, Genie Z. Influence With Integrity. California: Syntony Publishing Co. 1984.