Connection through Differences

Relational ideology sees human identity consisting at one and the same time of a sense of personal autonomy and agency, and of a deep sense of connection with others.  This is central to the transformative model of mediation in that conflict is viewed as a crisis in human interaction characterized by a weakening of the sense of agency and a withdrawal into self-absorption.  What people want in conflict is to recover their personal autonomy and at the same time to re-connect with others.  According to transformative theory, people not only have the capacity but also the deep desire for movement from states of weakness and self-absorption to states of clarity and recognition.  And they can be supported in doing that in a face-to-face conversation by a transformative practitioner.

Matt Harding’s videos of himself dancing in locales around the world have drawn more than 20 million viewings on YouTube. He is working on a book about his travels titled “Where the Hell Is Matt.” Harding lives in Seattle with his girlfriend and dog. In this essay, he talks about differences and connection.

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