Einstein once wrote: “A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ – a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.” Einstein then went on to say: “This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Who are we to argue with Einstein, particularly when what he writes makes perfect sense? At a deep level, we realise – or, at least, I hope that we realise – that we are all profoundly inter-connected, and that we all have a part to play in the story of the world. Connectedness in harmony with the universe is not merely a state of existence; I like to think of it as an organic and vibrant process, where by engaging with others in the spirit and understanding that we are benignly connected, we are able to achieve more together than we could as individuals (which would, as Einstein points out, be a delusion anyway).
This is where the power of an active network of our peers comes into play; whether you are a school leader looking to grow and develop, or someone who wants to improve board effectiveness through increasing diversity on boards, or an activist seeking to reduce consumption and food waste (I name here just 3 interests particularly close to my own heart), or anyone who wants to help shift anything in the world, for the better, in any way … a peer support network will help connect you with others, and will – should – widen your circles of impact as well as of compassion.
Peer support networks bring opportunities for:
- Sharing of experience, insights and learning
- Understanding different perspectives
- Friendship and empowering relationships
Importantly, peer support networks can also develop courage – the courage to pursue a task which alone would be much harder, if not impossible, and the courage to know and believe that together we are indeed stronger.
Courageous connection … a thought for us all. The world needs us to be connected; let’s take a step – small or large – to engage in this process today.