Monday, April 09, 2012

Beyond Cooperative Significance

"Cooperative Significance" is the phrase I use to describe the need for people to help each other find success.  We all need others to assist us along the way, and yet too many are stuck trying to reinvent the wheel every day by doing things that come easy to someone else.

Everyone wants to be significant; at home, at work, in their neighborhood, in their faith community, etc....  But we cannot be significant alone in a field.

Yet people allow assumptions, snap judgments,  stereotypes, and one-time situations to close the doors on creating meaningful connections.  It is a shame.

Pride is another thing that blocks us.  We do not want to appear weak or not in control of our own lives, so shut off parts of ourselves from the outside world.  Vulnerability is a natural part of the human experience (for a great TED Talk on vulnerability you should watch the talks by Dr. Brene Brown). It seems rare for people to ask for help, even for the little things that could easily be remedied by those around them.

It is difficult to let others know you need help, but apparently it is also difficult to lend a hand.  Too often people who could make an introduction do not do so (whether asked or not).  Some who can quickly solve an other's difficulties look the other way, as they do not have the time (or some other reason).  But if we do not make the time to serve, promote and assist others, why should we ever expect anyone to take actions that for us in our hours of need?

Finally, we should all strive to be slow to anger and fast to forgive.  Everyone makes mistakes, even those who are acting to help others succeed.  If our focus is only on the flaws of others, it can magnify our own short comings.  While a second chance is difficult to grant, it is often the basis of a win / win situation.

"Cooperative Significance" can make a difference in all of our lives, but it takes everyone being willing to do a little bit more.  I recently heard a speaker say that "win / win" has come to mean; I win twice as much as the other person to far too many.  If we have to keep score, we all lose in some manner.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

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