In it together

We all have our unique personalities, paths and problems. So, it is easy and natural to feel lonely and mired in our own problems. But, the truth is far from it – we’re all in it together in very meaningful ways.

A good friend forwarded Seth Godin’s post this morning and said it reminded her of our project. Background – a couple of close friends and I are working on a project coming your way in the next few weeks. And, one of the key premises of this project is that we’re not in to scale. Our only objective is to earn the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

So, when I saw the post – “What if scale wasn’t the goal?,” I just pinged it across to our team with the note – “Seth is talking to us this morning.”

Hasn’t that happened to you too?

I haven’t met many of the bloggers I like and follow. And, yet, their writing often speaks to me as it is exactly what I need.

We might all look different, work in different places and do different things. But, our shared humanity means we all care about similar things – our well being, the people we love, our pets, our learning, our hobbies and our impact on this planet. And, in this process of caring for the things we care about, we all experience similar travails and tests. They may not be identical but they’re similar enough that the rest of us understand.

More of us want you to succeed and find happiness than you can likely imagine. For, if you do, it will impact us in positive ways as well as you will spread that learning and happiness.

You are part of a community of caring humans that’s definitely much larger than you think.

We are all in it together – in very meaningful ways.

The global caste system

India has had the caste system woven into the social fabric for more than a thousand years now. I grew up exposed to it and I sometimes wondered what the world might look like without it. Maybe other nations had the answer?

I’ve been fortunate to have opportunities to live in multiple places since I left home for university ten odd years ago. And, guess what – every place has a caste system of its own. Sure, they don’t call it the caste system. But, the caste system is not about castes. It is a vehicle for discrimination. As I’ve been reading in Yuval Harari’s incredible book – Sapiens, discrimination is a necessary part of social order. Human beings have used concepts like pollution and purity for thousands of years to preserve this order. Some people just receive much better treatment at any given time than most of the rest.

We don’t think much of this. If you have a passport from a developed nation, you are treated wonderfully well at any airport around the world. However, everyone else isn’t really all that welcome. Add a non-white skin color and you have a recipe for shitty treatment everywhere you go. Global travel, thus, is a classic example of a global caste system. And, folks from developing countries are the untouchables.

We grow up with these social structures and they’re woven into the fabric of our daily lives. So, it is easy as hell not to question it since it seems like the natural order. Ask some men why there are fewer women in executive positions and you might find them give you pseudo scientific answers about why it is natural, pre-ordained even. Substitute men with other “higher castes” in various contexts. And, the results are similar. Every white supremacist will tell you there’s something impure about the darker person’s gene that doesn’t make them worthy of leadership.

I’d like to believe that these things will get solved over time. We’ve certainly made a ton of progress on various issues over the decades. But, in the current climate, it certainly does seem like things are getting worse.

Then again, maybe it gets worse before it gets better?

TV2 in Denmark has a lovely 3 minute video speaking to just this. It is easy to put people in boxes. We all do, all the time. It is part of being human. But, every once a while, it is perhaps skipping what divides us and looking instead at what we all share.


When you share..

.. you learn more, you learn to be less wrapped up in yourself and be” happy a lot more. So, why don’t people share more?

My belief is that it is because of questions like – “will people accept what I want to share?,” “will people question my intentions?” – and other similar questions that the fear of failure conjures up.

All of this misses the basic point about sharing – it is not about them. It is all about you. You learn more. You learn to be less wrapped up in yourself. You be happy more.

The generosity that arises from sharing a thing, a worthwhile project, or a learning elevates the community and makes this world better because of the example it creates. When Bill and Melinda Gates decided to share their wealth and, in the process, inspired many other billionaires to do so, they instantly made the world richer. You do the same when you share what you can share.

Don’t worry about whether it is worthwhile. Share. You’ll learn to make it worthwhile in time. You will become a better person in the process, though. And the world will be better for it.