Unlocking Potential through Embracing Collaboration

So often I have this desire to be entirely self-sufficient. The idea of individualism and independence has been romanticized, especially in America. Our roots are founded on independence and capitalism has fostered an individualistic spirit. American philosophy has exalted self-reliance to the detriment of the community.

Considering our culture, what does self-reliance look like as a follower of Christ?

I think this idea of independence and self-reliance may be rooted in the idea that there is a limited amount of giving that we are capable of. Emerson talks about how a community can be a distraction from self-growth [1]. As Christians though we are not limited.

When we have a relationship with an infinite God, we become connected to infinite depths of life-giving energy.

Jesus says that he came that we may have abundant life, not one that is limited.

We are called to Love. To abide in God’s pure love, and to share that with others. Part of what made Christ so counter-cultural is that he did not withhold. Not time, or love or energy but he gave himself completely. He wasn’t worried about not having enough to go around because he knew that with his Father, there was an infinite amount. The idea that it’s more blessed to receive is such a good expansion on this idea.

Love is not reduced when shared, it’s magnified.

What if the independent mindset is over? What if it’s time for us as humans to accept that we are all responsible for each other, that we are all one?

As an artist, this idea is so confronting because the idea of being a solo artist is so appealing to the ego. But the truth s there are no solo artists. For even one-man bands were inspired by the giants that went before them. No one is entirely sufficient.

Needs are often viewed as a negative thing, to be needy is a word paralleled with weakness, associated with negative associations of clingy, consumer minded people, incapable of taking care of themselves.

But what if every need is just an opportunity for connectedness, for the collective evolution of humanity? If you think that every human has something unique, something valuable to offer the world, then we should be doing all we can to empower the release of that potential.

And how could anyone fully express that which lives in the depths of their souls, without having their needs met? Essentially, if you think of the human purpose as to manifest the expression of God then it would make the most sense to divide the labor among us.

Ancient Mesopotamia, considered the dawn of modern society, went through a paradigm shift after implementing this. Through agricultural evolution, they were able to divide labor, the farmer providing food, and freeing up free time for the community to expand their pursuits. To explore the world through science, philosophy, religion and the arts.

By this, the entire society experienced higher consciousness, through innovation due to the increase in perspective. We all have something unique to offer the world, and what a tragic world to see millions living in someone else’s idea of who they ought to be, of what they are worth.

The ENTIRE law can be summed this way:

“Love God with EVERYTHING you are

And love your neighbor as yourself.” [3]

Who is our neighbor? “Those who we meet in need, and whose need we are in a position to meet.”[2]

So, don’t be afraid to reach out. Swallow your pride, or better yet take pride in recognizing that you are not a self-sufficient being, that you get to connect with humanity through what you need, taking pride in giving what you have, and humbly receiving what is offered to you.

THIS is how humanity can express itself. Whole and honest expression relies entirely on interconnected relationships and collective collaboration.

[1] Hacht, Anne, ed. (2007). “Major Works” Literary Themes for Students: The American Dream. Detroit: Gale. pp. 453–466. Retrieved November 25, 2014.

[2] Rich Hodge. “How to Love Your Neighbour.” Online video clip. Youtube.com. Youth With a Mission, Newcastle, 17 September 2015. Web 24 July 2017.

[3] Mark 12:30-31

 

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