How to Flourish Together: Reciprocity, Generosity, Attention, and Care
Wednesday December 20 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST
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“The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him: ‘What are you going through?’ It is a recognition that the sufferer exists, not only as a unit in a collection, or a specimen from the social category labeled ‘unfortunate,’ but as a man, exactly like us, who was one day stamped with a special mark by affliction.” (Simone Weil)
“Of all the wise teachers who have come into my life, none are more eloquent than these, who wordlessly in leaf and vine embody the knowledge of relationship. Alone, a bean is just a vine, squash an oversized leaf. Only when standing together with corn does a whole emerge which transcends the individual. The gifts of each are more fully expressed when they are nurtured together than alone. In ripe ears and swelling fruit they counsel us that all gifts are multiplied in relationship. This is how the world keeps going.” (Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass)
Over the last year, we’ve explored different facets of human flourishing, from vocation and leisure to intimacy and spirituality.
But the pursuit of a flourishing life is not a solo endeavor. Each of us is inextricably bound to one another and to the world we live in; individual well-being cannot be separated from that of the whole.
In this salon, we explore mutual flourishing through reciprocity, generosity, attention, and care. What is our responsibility to one another? How can we be better to each other? How can we see others deeply and be seen in return?
French mystic Simone Weil famously wrote that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. This holiday season, lets reflect on gifts we can give each other that make our lives richer in return.
- In Literature, Considering Love as Both Attention and Absorption (Literary Hub)
- The Essential Skills for Being Human (David Brooks)
- Simone Weil, Introduction to The Needs of the Soul (pg. 3-9); summary by The Marginalian
- To see “justly and lovingly”: What Did Iris Murdoch Mean by Attention?
- How We Render Reality: Attention as an Instrument of Love (The Marginalian)
- The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence