Individualism–Is This A Problem?

by Scott Morrice on 12/05/2012

Lynne McTaggart recently posted an excellent article on her Blog dealing with the perils of individualism.

She is speaking to a certain side of an issue that has been much on my mind lately.

I am, as is everybody that is reading this post I hope, very concerned about what is happening in our global community these days—what is happening to us.

And what I am referring to, and what Lynne McTaggart writes about, is this propensity by just about all of us to define everything in terms of “us” vs. “them”. You’re either for us, or you’re against us.

Of course, right now, this very minute, this concern is most clearly and definitively exemplified by the current turmoil in just about all parts of the Middle East.

But I have also seen the issue closer to home recently as well, and the best example I can think of are the recent US Presidential elections (all 4 years!).

To me, these wars, both the ones using guns and jets, and the political ones, are all rooted in “I am right, and therefore you MUST be wrong”. Positions get incredibly hardened. We end up on two different sides, living in completely different realities—in a very, very real sense.

And compromise is not the complete answer here either. When you compromise, you are by definition, saying, “ok, lets cut it down the middle”, and thinking, “ok, I am avoiding all the negatives associated with the war by only giving up one half of what I feel I was really entitled to. And that is not a bad deal under the circumstances. But—I am still entitled to what I gave up (I am still right about it).”

We need to get beyond compromise—we need to get to a whole new way of thinking. We need to get to a completely different perspective. Or this whole thing is going to come apart.

I have written about certain aspects of this problem in my The Need To Be Right post. But this goes way beyond that.

It might mean getting to what McTaggart speaks about when she says that we need to look at the relationship between people(s) as a “thing in itself”, and focus, not on compromise, but on the “glue” that lies at the centre of the relationship and is that thing that is holding the relationship together.

In other words, we need to be focusing on sharing what we each have to offer—to focus on taking advantage of that offer.

And it is a cop-out to say “Well, there is not much I can do about this on my own….the other guy also needs to understand that these are the new rules.”

Somebody has to make the first move.

You can view McTaggart’s complete article here.

I’ll keep you posted.

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