Every once in awhile I come across a person who thinks they are all things to all people. He or she believes that everything they need is contained within their bodies. It is as if they are the answer to every problem; if only the world would recognize and respond to their efforts in the manner that is appropriate for someone that is totally, completely, and utterly independent.
When disaster strikes, usually just beyond his or her ability to manage, the fall is horrific. Nothing has prepared the person for what happens. Everything comes as a total surprise. Chagrin, humiliation, and shattered pride are all descriptions that apply to the individual and how they see themselves, their relationship with others, and their place in the community. Nothing fits anymore. Every assumption is now questionable. There are no absolutes.
I wonder, despite the examples in sports, politics, and business, if I don’t carry a streak of this type of attitude within my soul. I don’t need help. I can do it on my own! I am not weak.
In contrast, those who are strong seem to readily admit their weaknesses and gaps. An historical story starts with the following lines. “A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, ‘Would you give me a drink of water?’” (John 4.7)
The examples of others who surround themselves with people who have complementary skills are many. Some even call the process teamwork! Others talk about leveraging the collective given the fact that we are in the same predicament. I see it as community.
You and I are part of a community. We have an opportunity to build the community into something greater than that which it is. There is no point to winning if others lose in the process. Everything is about succeeding as a group because there is a way everyone can receive that which we all seek – peace, being part of something, and love.
What happens in a community is up to each individual. We hold the key. I know what I will do with mine.