Title of ArticleTowards healthfulness and human flourishing – prioritising relationships
Type of ArticleEditorial
Author/sCaroline Dickson and Kate Sanders
ReferenceVolume 12, Issue 1, Editorial
Date of PublicationMay 2022
KeywordsHealthfulness, human flourishing

In our last editorial in November 2021, we highlighted hope and positivity being generated by the power of collaboration from the perspective of learning and innovation. As we move through spring and head towards summer, it is a time of growth, colour and abundance. This is resonant with human flourishing, the ultimate outcome of person-centredness, which is nurtured within healthful cultures, defined by McCormack et al. (2021, p 29) as:

‘…one in which decision-making is shared, relationships are collaborative, leadership is transformational and innovative practices are supported.’ 

Further, Mackay (2020, p 232) suggests that healthful relationships enable persons to:

‘…experience a sense of “being” in practice together whilst supporting each other to seek their full potential.’

Central to healthful relationships are the ideas of McCormack (2004) and Dewing (2004) on personhood, – our uniqueness as persons, which influences our ‘being-in-the world’ (McCormack and McCance, 2010, p 15). They view personhood through the lens of five modes of being: being with self; being in relation; being in the social world; being in place; and being in time. This reflects what matters to us as individuals, shaping our values and beliefs.

Currently, tales from across practice and education convey a variable picture of healthfulness. On one hand there is a sense of emergence from the pandemic into a ‘new normal’, with the opportunity to take forward some of the innovative ways of working that have developed during these difficult times. On the other hand, the legacy of Covid-19 across health and social care sectors is increased workloads caused by rising demand and staff absence due to sickness, against the ever-problematic background of retention issues. If we are to emerge from the pandemic in a better place than we were before it began, if the ‘new normal’ is to be something to celebrate, then we believe attention needs to be turned to the formation of healthful relationships that enable human flourishing.

This article by Caroline Dickson and Kate Sanders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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