There is a paradigm shift at play with a dominant cultural story of the hero. Heroes may make great story telling for their individual glory, but in reality, they do the community a disservice. If I am waiting for the hero to save the day, then I do not have to own my part for what is not working. It may be a great fantasy for children and the narcissistic ego of adults who do not want to grow up, but it has not served the development of teams, organizations and communities, both local and global. We do not need the individual hero. We need collaboration for a change.
We have had countless examples of the interconnectedness of the global community over the last few years, from the economic meltdown to the most recent natural occurrence of the Hawaiian volcano. We can no longer truly believe that we can live and play in our own little sandbox and not have it impact others. It would be a delusion to think so at this point. Listen to the wisdom of Albert Einstein:
“A human being is part of the whole called by us Universe; a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts, and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking, if humankind is to survive.”
We do require a substantially new way of thinking. It involves tapping the wisdom of the community and not just the one. Collaborative thinking invites us to a process that is always widening the circle. Who else needs to be involved? Who else is this impacting? Whose voice is not being heard?
Widening our circle of compassion begins with our desire to collaborate for a change with our own thinking, so that we might free ourselves to live and love more fully with all of creation. As we let go of the story of the lone hero, we begin to liberate ourselves from that lonely cell of separateness because we see we are connected, and we need to collaborate, if humankind is to survive.