Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Universal Grace: Collaboration vs. Competition, Round 3

Part One addressed the Conundrum of Competition vs. Collaboration.  Installment Plan B covered common behaviors to watch out for. Round 3 is an exploration of Universal inklings.

I have learned over the years to listen to the flow of the Universe, versus trying to fight it, or make it work the way I think it should - or more specifically thought it should, due to my limited understanding of the situation overshadowed by an over-abundance of enthusiasm.  (This would be the dangerous cocktail we called "youth.") And when you slow down, watch, and listen to what the Universe is putting in front of you, things make a lot more sense, move a lot faster, and just all around work better.  There are patterns, signals, symbols. Some of them are subtle, others are not.

And the Universe recently shared some media experiences with me that it thought would help y'all as well.

On one of the rare occasions that I have time to sit down and watch a movie at home (and I'm usually doing work at the same time - either graphic design or costume work), I watched "Happy" - which is a documentary-like film, investigating what makes people happy, what does it mean to be happy, etc. It really affirmed a lot of things I have already found to be true, but what caught my ears was a commentary on competition versus collaboration - and how individuals/societies/cultures that favor collaborating together versus competition thrive - people are happier, they live longer, in better conditions, have more success in their relationships, with more time for creativity and the arts.

I really can't argue with that - in fact, I wholeheartedly know it to be true. (And I highly recommend taking some time to watch it.)

Think about it:  dancers who work together to maintain decent pay/increase wages/improve overall quality of dancing/venues can only win, because they're working to improve the situation.  Everyone benefits - dancers, teacher, students, venue owners, customers.  This is collaboration.  Those who undercut/undermine purposely in the "spirit of competition" only bring EVERYONE down. Wages go down, quality of dancing goes down, it brings down the art of the dance, etc.  Same goes for putting on events - working with other promoters/producers in your town/city/state/region to put on quality events that don't conflict with each other, and celebrate the differences or similarities - there's so much to be gained by that.

And then, the same Universal nudge that brought me "Happy", brought me a series of TED Talks - and the one that made me put down my costume beading and watch it (and then also had Nathan watch it when he got home from band practice) was Julia Sweeney's. There's several different messages there, but one of the ones I take from it is valuing what you KNOW to be true within yourself, and respecting what makes you, YOU.  People fear collaboration sometimes because they are afraid they will get lost in the process.  But in reality, you are far more likely to lose more when you seek to compete with others about who is more right/who believes the right thing/who feels they need to prove they are MORE RIGHT.  What someone else believes/knows/thinks doesn't make you any more right or wrong.  Once you set aside that kind of ego, it's amazing what you can discover about yourself and what you can achieve. 

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