Monday 13 July 2015

Global Integrators--13

Staying Updated--Staying Outdated

Wise men and women are always learning,
    always listening for fresh insights.
Proverbs 18: 15, The Message

We think that the time is coming for a diversity of colleagues to come together intentionally, visibly, and practically on behalf of global integration (GI). GI put simply is how we skillfully integrate our lives and values on behalf of the issues facing humanity. Likewise we think that the time is coming for colleagues to carefully reflect and act on what it means to be good global learners-practitioners--to seriously consider what it means to be what we are calling global integrators (GI-People).
 Staying au courant is an ongoing challenge for all of us who sincerely want to “connect and contribute relevantly” on behalf of the wellbeing of people-planet. So how do we stay updated so that we don’t become outdated? Frankly, no one in any field wants to be caught “flatfooted”(see quote at end)---out of touch, irrelevant, chasing after the proverbial “global” parade. But this sense of always having to catch up, of being one or more steps behind the “action,” and of feeling dumb is a reality that everyone experiences in our globalizing, always changing, and information and event-filled world. It is the ongoing norm. It is something really important to acknowledge and to discuss.
So what to do? One suggestion is based on the GI definition (e.g., skillfully integrating our lives and values on behalf of the major issues in our world). Let’s consider three broad areas for staying updated and for maintaining our personal and professional development: Skills, Values, and Issues. Think of these three areas as forming part of a core “grid to guide and guide to goad,” and one that is still in process, involving crossing disciplines, sectors, cultures, countries, and comfort zones.

Skills: also including competencies in relational, cultural, and leadership areas

Values: also including core commitments, character strengths, and moral integrity

Issues: also including current events, global concerns, and sustainable development

What types of strategies do you have for staying updated in the above three areas? What else would you add or adjust?  Here are some examples for me:

--continuing education as a psychologist
--attending events/training in the humanitarian and development sectors (live and in vivo)
--working on language abilities in Spanish and French
--reviewing good practice and ethics codes, reading accounts of/materials from people practicing moral integrity  
--practicing Christian spirituality including self-reflection, prayer, and applying Scripture
--interaction with colleagues for clarity and accountability

---tracking with global mental health
--attending events in the Geneva area (e.g., human rights, staff wellbeing, peacebuilding)
--getting information from different news sources

Final Reflection
I really appreciate the thoughts and frankness in the quote below by fellow psychologist Glen Moriarty from Regent University. The quote appears in his article published in the special issue on the future of integration, Journal of Psychology and Theology, Spring 2012. I have taken some liberties in adding my own remarks in brackets to further clarify what I believe are important points and directions that build on Glen’s observations.

“If we want integration [of psychology and theology] to be a credible and relevant voice in all corners of our world, then we need to be proactive about learning, engaging and collaborating with Christian mental health professionals outside of North America. [Kelly note: and proactive about the major need for collaborating with mental health professionals of other faiths or no faith and with colleagues from other sectors]…Soon the mental health professions will also scale up. [Kelly note: many have already been doing so for years now]. We want to get in on the ground floor—not once institutions are already established. Kelly O’Donnell has insightfully called this “global integration.”....We in the integration field find ourselves in a unique position. Unfortunately, globalization and technology have caught us flat-footed. ..We have a time limited opportunity to make a huge impact in the future of faith and psychology...We can begin by answering the question I started with: Where do we want to be in 10 years? [Kelly note: and where do we want to be in 2050—when an estimated one-third of humanity may in fact live in ‘misery and squalor’—potentially 3 billion humans!]” (Glen Moriarty, “Where Do We Want to Be in Ten Years? Towards an Integration Strategy for Clinical Psychologists,” Spring 2012, Journal of Psychology and Theology)

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