I have finally got around to reading Stephen Covey's book The 8th Habit and am really enjoying it. I first read The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People many years ago and got a lot out of it at the time.
His new book is full of interesting quotes and it occurred to me on reading the following one that this is what is going on with social computing:
By spiritual I mean the ancient and abiding human quest for connectedness with something larger and more trustworthy than our egos - with our own souls, with one another, with the worlds of history and nature, with the indivisible winds of the spirit, with the mystery of being alive.
This is what is happening on while I read and am moved by other bloggers posts and when I attempt to reach out with my own. It is what is going on when the Flickr feeds from my friends contain wonderful images of the world seen through their eyes that reveal meaning and beauty - and it is what was going on even in a work context when on our forums at the BBC people reached out and supported or helped people they had never met in ways that were truly amazing.
Some time ago David Weinberger wrote that what makes the internet hangs together is love and I wrote my own piece about love, or energy or connectedness, or spirituality - whatever you are most comfortable with - being a motivating force in the workplace. I still believe both of these to be true.
A some of you will have noticed I have the occasional rant against organised religions and the damage I believe they do. In response Dave Snowden has accused me of being critical of one form of evangelism while indulging in my own form of the same thing. I counter this by explaining that I don't in any sense want to dictate what people think or what they believe. What I do want them to do is to connect and work together using these wonderful new tools that we now have available to us to work out what is going on and make the world a better place - however they each interpret that!
My views are far too anarchic to be evangelical and this second quote from Stephen Covey's book sums it up for me:
What do I mean by spiritual? I simply mean the whole reality and dimension which is bigger, more creative, more loving, more powerful, more visionary, more wise, more mysterious - than materialistic human existence.
There is no theology or belief system that relates to this meaning of spiritual.