In many ways, the dimension of relational ethics can be thought of as a bridge from one's past, stretching through oneself to the future. The way that the bridge reaches into the past tells us much about who we are, what we deserve, and what we are obligated to give. This bridge back to the past may be a strong and trustworthy structure that provides stability for our being and our actions, or it may be weak and unsure, leaving us to question almost every part of our self-conceptions and interactions. But whether the bridge is strong or weak, it provides us with an undeniable link to our past. It is our legacy, heritage, and foundation. It impacts us cognitively, socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and spiritually. It is from this past that we make our contribution to the structure of how life is to be lived through the way we handle and deal with our relationships. No matter what their past, individuals become responsible for their part in the here and now, in making the bridge that runs through them either stronger or weaker.
What is most stirring about the fourth dimension of contextual therapy, however, is that the bridge moves from us into the future. Our work, actions, emotions, contributions, distractions, and destructiveness all become part of the legacy, heritage, and foundation that we pass along to others. These “others” may be part of our biological family relationships or may be part of the people whom we have made family by our commitments and love. But these people will be affected by our additions, either good or bad, to the complex bridge that we call life. Even if we have no sense of spirituality in terms of an afterlife or a supreme being, we must acknowledge that our influence on relationships makes part of us transcendent in terms of our effect on the next and future generations.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The New Contextual Therapy: Guiding the Power of Give and Take. Contributors: Terry D. Hargrave - Author, Franz Pfitzer - Author. Publisher: Brunner-Routledge. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 71.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.