The Great Man is Dead
Doing everything by yourself is so dead…so yesterday.
Frank Sinatra had it all wrong… “I did it my way” is the anthem of yesterday…it is really a lie to think that you can go through life “alone” doing it your way. In Warren Bennis’s book “Organizing Genius” his first chapter is called, “The End of the Great Man”. The book is a great read and I have a portion of it available on the Resource section of this site. I will save you the reading by noting that, “nothing great is done by individuals…only teams.”
Your success will be because of the help of many others.
You are not designed to be alone. One of life’s saddest moments occurs at high school and university graduations each year. I have attended numerous graduation ceremonies…and each year promising young people walk across the stage…alone. While in school, they experienced a special community. Some bonded with others in dormitories and together with roommates challenged ideas with zeal and studied for final exams together. Schools are meant to be wonderful places of growth and learning. Then one day it all comes to an end. Graduation day. We are graduating individuals…to go into the journey of life to “do it their way” all on their own.
The most important gift we can give is ourselves. Sharing ourselves with each other. Recently a friend asked my what was the most important lesson. I had to say that it is all about “relationships”. Nothing else is more important.
The opposite to relationships is “individualism” which results in unhealthy and lonely relationships and breeds an attitude of, “It’s all about me”. These folks receive “me-mail” because it is all about them! To give you a word picture of individualism, I will ask you this question, “What part of your body works independent of all other parts of your body?” The answer is of course that there is no part that works independent of other organs of the body…it is a beautiful orchestra…where the sum of the whole is amazing.
The only example you will find in a body of independent thinking is…disease. That is correct…cancers do what they are going to do and they do not care about anything or anyone else. They have their own agenda.
So how are we to live? The answer is to live in inter-dependent relationships where each person experiences the give and take of open and honest relationships. The gift is you giving and receiving love…do that each day and you will be the richest man or woman in town.
In the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life", George Bailey through no fault of his own loses some money and considers suicide as he is worth more dead than alive. He prays and wishes he was never born. George is granted his wish and he learns about all the things that would not have happened because he was not there to make a difference. Realizing his value (The George Bailey Effect) to others he prays again to have his life back and he receives his wish. In the final scene George is surrounded by the love of family and community as they share an out-pouring of wealth to solve his financial problems.
Indeed, as the angel Clarence say's "No man is a failure who has friends!"
Together is Better.