Can there ever be justification for truly barbaric acts? The Woolwich brutal and sickening murder of a young soldier in the south of England this week reminds us that as a species we are capable of totally un-relational and unspeakable acts of destruction. Hannah Arendt wrote of the ‘banality of evil’ and yet this murder seems all but banal or ordinary. This was an intentional act, thought out and planned for maximum impact and media exposure.
Is there any way we can understand the motivation of the killers within a relational frame?
We could of course scrutinize their individual histories and backgrounds of the killers and find psychological problems, personal or political grievances as well as hardship that may lead them to that day. But is that enough of an explanation? Yes of course, being relational means taking account of the context or situation in which behaviour takes place but can we really relinquish our sense of agency and responsibility that has allowed many to overcome horrendous situations?
What does it mean to be ‘relational’ and how does it support us in our lives as human beings?
Come and join the conversation on this very topic at our low-cost Open Event on the 4th of November in London. The day will be facilitated by Marie-Anne Chidiac, Sally Denham-Vaughan and Mark Fairfield
An International Movement for Relationality
Since March, we have a new partner organisation in Australia/New Zealand, called ‘Relational Matters’ and founded by Leanne O’Shea. Together with The Relational Centre and Relational Matters, we have linked up to start discussing ideas for an international relational movement, whereby we can explore the notion of relationality in different cultures and communities around the world. We are very aware that no ‘one-size’ of ‘Relational’ fits everyone, and are keen to promote a pluralism of ‘relational varieties’, fitted to supporting and sustaining both people and the planet in differing contexts.