Everything Is Interconnected

This is the third of seven key understandings.


Everything and everyone is interconnected, interdependent and interrelated.

We are part of A NATURAL AND SOCIAL WEB OF LIFE that supports and sustains us.  We are connected to nature and dependent on it for the things we need to keep us alive.  We are also connected to our family and friends and our community.  We depend on others in many ways and they depend on us too.  We need others; others need us.

We value our family and friends.  They share our good times and bad times.  They care about us and support us when we need help, when we are sad or injured, or unable to do things on our own.  Wise people have always considered friendship very important for human happiness.  Without friends we are on our own and life is more difficult and less enjoyable.

So, our happiness and the happiness of others are connected.  When we contribute to the happiness of others, we also are happier.  We benefit when we do things to benefit others.  Thoughts, words and actions that flow from an awareness of our connectedness will be conducive to happiness for ourselves and for others.

As well as UNDERSTANDING that we are connected we can have a FEELING of being connected.  Feeling connected can be a positive feeling that makes us want to act with goodwill to others.  Feeling separate or alone is an unhappy feeling.  Humans are social creatures – we like to feel that we belong.

Yet we need to use our reasoning and intelligence to go beyond just instinctive tribal belonging and move towards understanding and appreciating our wider universal interconnectedness and interdependence and to see the need to begin to develop a feeling of connectedness with, and goodwill towards, all beings.  Feeling and experiencing this wider connectedness expands our life.  It also provides a wider context for seeing life as meaningful.

As well, we can develop an understanding of the need to relate to others as being of equal worth – based on appreciating our underlying equal humanity rather than just seeing individual personalities.

Forgetting that we are all connected, and instead regarding ourselves as separate and independent, can lead to purely self-focussed thoughts and actions.  It is good to care for ourselves, but we also need to consider others at the same time.  When we remember our common humanity and interconnectedness we think more “we” and “us”, and less “I” and “me”.

With a zoom lens we can see a small part of the picture in detail; with a wide angle lens we see where the small part fits within the full picture.  In a similar way we can understand that our individuality is part of a whole interconnected web.  This is the big picture perspective we need to maintain.  We still have our own individuality and personality, but we see it in the context of being connected to everything around us.  We can learn to skilfully relate and connect, whilst being a unique individual.

Our connections can be infused with positive energy and with our heart qualities of goodwill, warmth, kindness and compassion – universal qualities inherent in our being.  A happy ATTITUDE feeds into all our connections and we make friends more easily.

Relating to others can be difficult sometimes but our connections with others can provide a challenge to understand ourselves and to grow.  Growing out of our egocentricity and selfishness means thinking and acting in ways that aren’t focussed on ourselves.  We take responsibility for ourselves and seek to not burden others, but we also seek to help those in need and know that others will be there to care for us when we need them.

Connecting positively brings sharing, generosity and friendship.  We appreciate our connections to others and are grateful for those who help us.  We practice goodwill and friendliness to all and look for ways to make harmonious connections with family, friends, and community and with nature.   When disharmony arises, we look for ways to restore harmony.  We recognise the need to consider how our actions affect others, and we become sensitive to the needs of others – realising that their needs are as important as our own.

We learn the value of cooperation.  We look for ways to make a contribution – to be of service using our individual talents.  Contributing becomes a pleasure and we in turn enjoy the contributions of others.

The more we engage with life the more we become aware of our interdependence and interconnectedness and can participate fully in life and share all that it offers.  When we actively participate in life we activate connections and we build new connections.

We grow in our capacity to make friends and relate to others and realise the need to give priority to the building of positive relationships in all areas of life, knowing that creates the foundation for a good life and a good society.  Establishing a positive relationship with family, friends and colleagues is recognised as always being the fundamental priority – before anything else such as making decisions, planning, directing, assisting, etc.

We learn we can build positive relationships by showing respect and patience.  By being an attentive listener, we get to know others well and can understand how they see things.  A sense of humour also helps our relationships to be relaxed and friendly.

Not everyone we meet will be fully aware of their interconnectedness or be motivated to connect with us positively and unselfishly, so our connections with others may be negative or they may be positive.

Negative connections will be characterised by unfriendliness, lack of respect, lack of appreciation, and ingratitude.  There will be selfish motivations resulting in a lack of cooperation, disunity, disharmony, distrust and conflict.

Positive connections will be characterised by respect, friendliness, empathy, appreciation and gratitude.  There will be positive energy and selfless motivations to work cooperatively with unity, harmony and peace.

Being aware of how important it is to ensure that our connections are positive, we can seek to acquire skills that enhance our capacity to connect positively and to perhaps turn negative connections into positive ones.  Ultimately love is the fundamental energy and motivation needed to make connections truly positive.

We can find a balance between spending time connecting to the true nature of our being, and spending time connecting with others.  Both are needed; both grow our understanding and feeling of interconnectedness.  Within ourselves we find our own happiness, we realise our own worth, and we take responsibility for our lives.  Outside of ourselves we want to see everyone being happy, and so we seek to think and act selflessly with full awareness of our interconnectedness and our interdependence.  Finding our peace and love within and then living from that point is the way to positively influence the world.

Copyright © 2008-2017 John Frederick Gray

Read the Declaration of Interdependence prepared for the 1992 U.N. Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  >>> The Declaration of Interdependence



  • Everything and everyone is interconnected and interdependent.
  •  We are all connected to each other.
  • Our individuality is in the context of being connected to everything around us.
  • The happiness of others is important for our happiness.
  • We need to build positive relationships.

Some quotes about CONNECTEDNESS

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to the rest of the world.  – John Muir

The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes.    – The14th Dalai Lama

Our spirituality is a oneness and an interconnectedness with all that lives and breathes, even with all that does not live or breathe.  — Mudrooroo, Aboriginal writer

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For more Quotes related to Everything is Interconnected click here.

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For suggestions for Practical Activities and Resources related to this topic click here.

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