Community or Competition?

October 13, 2010

The imagined sense of being a separate ‘I’ is the source of all problems. -John Wheeler


The belief that we are all separate beings trying to survive the game of life, is a very deep-rooted belief for many. When beliefs have grown deep roots inside of us, it may be difficult for us to even detect their presence.  We simply end up living lives that are far less fulfilling than we know they should be.

There are a lot of ways that seeing ourselves as separate from one another manifests in our lives.  This well marketed idea that I am me and you are you, often keeps us from giving and receiving the love and support that we all deserve to get from one another. When we feel separate, it is a fearful thing to support another’s dreams because we feel as though that energy could be placed on our own goals and dreams. We don’t understand that as we give, time, energy, money, etc., it causes these same resources to expand in our own lives. When I was studying and practicing Nichiren Buddhism, I was told that “when you give, you’re only giving to yourself anyway”.

In those rare moments that I can embrace the idea, or should I say embrace the truth, that we are all expressions of the same Artist, it is a sensation that is hard to put into words. It is a feeling of total safety and love, because in that rare, and often fleeting moment, I understand that the truth is, that nothing can ever truly be taken away from me or you, but that all is given and received by the Artist and then translated into all these amazing paintings, called You and I.

We can transfer this truth into our business lives as well. We are beginning to see that it is now necessary to reach out to our fellow entrepreneurs and offer our talents and skills as we utilize theirs. It helps to expand both businesses.

The word “competition” is a process that is used to eliminate, often until the race gets down to just one winner, while the word “community” helps us to visualize groups of people living together to assist in the growth and nourishment of all. There is no reason why we cannot incorporate the John Wheeler saying, “The imagined sense of being a separate ‘I’ is the source of all problems” into every aspect of our lives.

As we live and do business on the new earth, let us be open to viewing it all from new perspectives and seeing life not only through our individual lenses but through the glasses of our neighbors as well.

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