Off DeWall: What Relationship Do You Mean?

            Most of my posts and thoughts focus on relationships and, more broadly, social connections. I often treat social connections as these simplistic things that govern thought, emotion, and behavior. But social connections have many different flavors. Your relationship to your parents gives you something different than what you get from your best friend, your professors, or your local Starbucks barista. Each relationship partner also gets something different from you. In a keynote address by the eminent cultural psychology, Michael Harris Bond challenged me to think differently about how people relate to each other.

            Michael shoots out of any crowd in Asia. At a lean 6’5”, he towers over most people here. He has a bald, shiny head that emits a ray of light if the spotlight catches it at the correct angle. Just before he started speaking, he donned a white floppy hat (a la Gilligan’s Island). Maybe it’s his trademark.


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