I've been reading a fiction series by Hugh Howey. The first few books are the "Wool" books and then the stories continues with the "Shift" books. I've also seen it called, as a group, the "Silo Saga." I have read all the Wool books and am on the last Shift book. Apparently there's at least one more after this one, due out in August. Let me say this: This is the best fiction series I have ever read in my life.
I didn't get into the whole "Twilight" phenomena, nor the "Hunger Games," nor "Fifty Shades." I actually don't read fiction all that often, except for a single book now and then that I find free for my kindle. But when I heard about the Silo Series by Hugh Howey, I loved the concept. So much so that I paid for the book (rare for me). Though, Hugh's book prices are very low, especially for a growingly popular author (I also heard that the movie rights have already been purchased).
Anyway.... Why am I telling you about this fiction series? Because a lesson jumped out at me as I was reading the other day.
One of the characters in the second Shift book... aptly titled "Second Shift"... Mission (yes, interesting name for a person), had a realization. The silos were intended to run by everyone doing a specific job. Everyone depending on everyone else, for the entire society to function. But Mission noticed the people in his silo were growing more and more independent. They were taking on jobs that others were already doing. They were becoming self-sufficient in as many ways as possible...instead of sticking to their job, and letting others do theirs.
The more people separated, and not depended on one another, the more violence grew. And Mission made the connection between the violence and everyone trying to be more independent... not needing one another anymore.
I thought this was a very interesting concept to ponder. Especially in our western-world, independent, free-thinking society. It does seem true, doesn't it?
The cultures around the world in which people are more dependent on one another, like Native Americans (at least back when they freely lived in this country, in their tribes) and many Asian cultures. Those cultures, at least as far as I know, had less violence -- among themselves anyway. They were a tight-knit group. They stuck together. They were like One.
But the cultures in which individuality is praised. Where everyone's trying to be "the best" and out-do the next person. Where there's competition within the culture. This seems to beget more violence.
The violence isn't always shooting or killing people. It could be any form of trying to put someone else down. Bring others down. Negativity. Violence in words and thoughts.
I'm having an interesting time thinking about this. I've always considered myself a very independent person. Highly self-sufficient. I figure, if someone else can do something, I can do it too... and I often do. I do as much myself as I possibly can. I try to "need" others as little as possible.
I often act this way because I don't trust that others can or will do as good a job as I would. Or they won't do something at all. So I just take care of it myself.
On one hand I can see this as a way to push myself. To learn new things. To see what I can do, more out of curiosity than anything else. Can I do "it" (whatever it is)? Let's find out! My motivation isn't generally a competition against other people, it's a competition against myself. I'm not one to toot my own horn, or brag to others about "what I did." I just like to see for myself if I can, in fact, do the task at hand. And how well.
So I don't think that motivation is all bad. Or bad at all, really. But I am seeing the benefit to not trying to do everything myself. To accepting, and realizing, that others can do a given job better than me. That they do know what they're doing. And it's ok to trust that, trust them, and depend on them -- at least for that specific role.
This is how societies function. And function well. With people trusting that others can and will fulfill their role. This builds a community. Connections.
It's all about letting go.
Funny how connections are built by letting go. But think about it. When you let go of trying to do everything yourself, when you let go of your "control," you're more open. You will then naturally reach out to others more. You'll interact with and relate with others. You'll build those connections.
But, on the other hand, if you try to control everything in your world, you do everything yourself, you don't depend on others, don't reach out, you're closing yourself off. And this is where fear lives. Where you see others as threats to your "perfectly controlled" little world.
So what's the solution? Be more open. "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Don't close yourself off. Reach out. Connect. All any of us can do is what we can do. Don't worry about others. Just be you, and you will create ripples that touch others.