Yesterday, we discussed our culture of individualism, and the need to shift from self-directed to community engaged.
Diving deeper into individualism, we see that the practice of competition alienates us from each other. Our schools push students into competition for grades and college admission, our workplaces incentivize employees to compete for raises and promotions, even our Western theories of evolution make nature seem like life is all about the “survival of the fittest”.
But if you study nature, you’ll see that there’s a great deal of interdependence between plants and animals. Think about hummingbirds and flowers. Consider how ants gather their food collectively instead of hoarding individually, and how geese take turns at the front of the V during migration.
“When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, almost everything lost its footing. Houses were detached from their foundations.. Sign posts and vehicles floated down the rivers that became of the streets. But..the oak tree held its ground. How? Instead of digging its roots deep and solitary into the earth, the oak tree grows its roots wide and interlocks with other oak trees in the surrounding area. And you can’t bring down a hundred oak trees bound beneath the soil!” -Naima Penniman
Where in your life have you been pitted against others? Driven to succeed or excel? Today watch that urge and move to let go and find others you can connect with in cooperation and collaboration. Try pivoting from knowing and certainty to asking a question, this pivot allows you to let go of self and open to engaging with your community.
What did you discover in reaching out?
PS: I talked to a kindergarten teacher to find out how she's transformed her classroom into a community of collaboration - listen to what she has to say here!