In social work, mapping out the current connections for a person is called a Life Model, and by diagramming out the people involved in a person’s life gives a good representation to work from as you explore the various positive – and negative – influences that motivate behavior. It’s working from the outside in.
Psychologists, in contrast, work from the inside out, and trace motivation behind behaviors from internal processes. How the person interprets and integrates the various stimuli occurring in life will determine how the person will most likely behave.
I tend to lean toward psychology’s theories, without ignoring sociology, though both leave me with a flat aftertaste. Something is missing; something important; something profound. Psychology and sociology are so busy arguing with each other that neither take into consideration the Big Picture: the meaning of life.
Add Darwinian anthropology into the picture, and, instead of pulling everything together with its biological predeterminations, you end up with a mountain of empty ideologies and theories that only pull us further from defining meaning.
This cognitive dissonance wouldn’t exist if monotheistic religions hadn’t played such a large role in a tortuous, imperialistic, inhumane history for the last 2,000 years. Religions would rather argue with psychology, sociology and anthropology, to discredit in full opposition. Instead of pulling us together, instead of helping us understand, religions have kept us apart and kept us from discovering the meaning of life.
Yes, the thought is huge. It’s abstract and has the feel of disconnection; too big to have an influence on or be influenced by a single person. But, is it really?
I broke through that disconnected feeling when in a class about AIDS. For every person you sleep with, they said, you sleep with every person that person slept with. The poster completely covered with all the stick figures with lines drawn between them spoke loud and clear: We are all connected.
Now, imagine what that poster would look like if it were a line drawn between you and every single person you ever interacted with during your lifetime and every single person they interacted with during their lifetime. Oh yes, we are all connected!
Eventually, all the lines come right back to you.
So, you see, no man is an island. It’s just not possible. We are all connected.