“A whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Integration is a term for the process of coming together.
We are changing in the 21st century. Our way of being an adult, family member, employee, citizen, consumer, community member, nationality, activist, student, and friend is different than it was 5 years ago, 10 years ago.
The economies we were educated to participate in have changed under our feet and before our eyes. The communities that supported our parents while we were babies may not exist. Yet, our way of working is intricately blended into our family lives in ways that our parents never dreamed. How we perceive and digest these changes in our inner world affects our lives and is part of a larger transition – that links work life, home life, national identity, global issues that will mark the next 100 years or more.
We may need to begin to accept the reality of coming and going from our family kitchen table to complete the launch of a new global project as a norm, instead of a strange accident of freelancing as an executive for 5 years. Perhaps collaborating with 6 adults to raise 5 children in 2 countries is not so rare. Why should we be expected to track original owners of ideas, words or music . . . when they are instantly mashed into new forms by teenagers across the globe?
Our grandparents enjoyed a conformity and consistency that was valued as a form of health. Holding one job for 30 or more years was possible and a duty to the community, family, and nation that you lived in. Becoming a static landowner, property owner, community decision maker on the local level was a high esteemed goal. All of these factors defined their health and prosperity.
Today, we have a focus on a different set of values that will shape us. And, as a result, many of the parts of daily life and work might reflect the exact opposite value systems from the previous generations. We already value and validate remote and global living and leadership. Mobility is possible. Inspiration to reach for ideas in science, advancement in social policy, humanistic ideals are being validated in many societies, simultaneously. The mere idea of corporate collective focus moving toward preserving a sustainable climate or breaking down hierarchy is breaking into many industries.
One defining change is from a view of loss or pathology to the focus on balance and organization within health ~ the study of how health works, as Dr. Daniel Siegel might say. This is integration ~ a shift from how things fall apart to how they work in harmony, together.
What are we making technology, industry, and science for, if not for the health and wellbeing of humans and our natural environment?
This is our immediate and open question. So too, this question stands open for us.
In the past, therapy and consultancy was seen as a supportive or prescriptive solution for a disease of the mind or function of a group. Now, there is a need and frequent use of psychology and science for the study of health and cohesive growth of the inner life of each of us. We need to sustain several revolutions and disruption on every level of our daily lives and sense of reality. Growing a practice of understanding our self, and how we weather these changes, is a responsible step in our time.