People, but particularly we Americans, often have an unhealthy fixation on independence. We love it. We thrive on the notion. This is hardly surprising given the origins of the United States. The idea of the lone pioneer forging his destiny at the edge of the frontier is steeped in our culture. We claim it as our birthright. But this is not a history lesson. As romantic as this imagery is, it can be a perilous path to travel—literally and figuratively.
No man is an island. Isolation is the dream killer. It is not good that man should be alone. It takes a village to raise a child. Do any of these phrases sound familiar?
These sayings, attributed to John Donne, Barbara Sher, the Bible, and others are not just pleasant idioms and catchy platitudes. They speak to the very core of the human experience.
As much as we hate to admit it, we need each other. We are better and stronger together than we are alone. Not just philosophically, but practically as well. Rome was not built in a day, but it also wasn’t built by one person.
As today’s fortune implies, gatherings and parties are a good thing. They unite us and bring us closer together. They remind us we are not alone. They reflect us back to ourselves. We see ourselves in others and they in us. And we’re all the better for it. The whole really can be greater than the sum of its parts.
Can gatherings and parties also be a waste of time or mere distraction? Of course they can. We can easily use these get-togethers as a way to avoid reality or procrastinate important projects. We can use interacting as a substitute for doing.
But used well, collaboration can be a gateway to exponential achievement—often at a rate and magnitude greater than going it alone.
So get out there and involve yourself with others—it may just be your ticket to the life of your dreams.
To your good fortune!