Collaborative Footprints

Collaborative Footprints
May 7, 2015 Susan Clark


When we are living in a competitive nature, we do not see our connection to the world around us and align our thinking based in division, separation, and competition. We feel it is “natural” to observe and register differences to separate each other through conditioned judgment, rather than focusing on our similarities that connect one another. In this state of thinking, we are constantly competing with those around us and wonder why life feels so difficult? However, if we focus our attention on our similar needs, desires, and contributions to the world, we will engage in collaborative behavior patterns that see the benefit of the whole.

In the competitive nature, one decides that in order for them to achieve success or maintain power, is to ensure that their counterpart is deterred in some way. They do not weigh the consequences of their counterpart’s demise, or understand how the negative impact returns to the sender. Imagine if your two feet were in competition on completing a step forward. Each time the right foot moves forward, the left foot pulls the right foot back and likewise, each time the left foot moves forward, the right foot pulls the left foot back. Both feet are exerting the same effort to make positive movement. However, by additionally contributing a negative outcome to their counterpart, they are negating any individual progress yet working with twice the effort. In the collaborative state, each foot is allowed a step forward. They both reach their desired destination through their combined efforts for equal progress, while the competing feet are merely walking in place.

We must change our outlook on how we view and portray our roles in the world, our communities, and the environment. We must see our interlaced connection to the revolving ecosystems that surround us. With this insight, we notice how we connect and contribute to our community, rather than defending our status through the determent of another’s progress. If we primarily focus on one group’s progress while disregarding the rest of the population, we are placing that group on a pedestal in which they stand upon their neighbors. It is only in this collaborative nature, that we will experience unlimited potential for expansion on an individual level and a global level. When one aspect of the system fails, it is merely a matter of time before the entire system fails.

We must change our view of the entire world as we would view one individual body. The ears do not say, “If only I were like the eyes and could see, then I would contribute to the whole body in a meaningful way”. Each component of the body plays a significant role and designated function; its’ contribution impacts the whole body and without it there would be significant consequences. We are each representatives on this world, designed to work in harmonic unity to fill a role that impacts the whole of our existence. From every tree, to every animal, to each drop in the ocean, to every person from each culture; we all have necessary contributions to offer in our shared existence.

As long as we continue living in a competitive state with our ecosystem and community, we are actively engaging in the determent of our own individual survival. Whether that is destroying the rainforests, exterminating species, engaging in war, or practicing individual gain in politics and business; these behaviors will continue to escalate our demise as a whole. Just as the competing feet are walking in place, making no forward progress and working with twice the effort, so are we when we believe that our actions or inaction does not affect the population as a whole. With an expanded awareness of our ecosystem and connection to all life, we understand that it is through our collaboration and unification, that we achieve greatness without borders.
About the Author:  Susan Clark

I am an administrative assistant in a University setting. I used to struggled with my occupation as a form of my identity, but I know that I am here for a season and reason, and these experiences are just as validating as any other job. I recently attained level 1 Reiki certification and look forward to continue studying energy healing. I have always looked to writing as a way to allow energy to flow. When I experienced many years of debilitating depression, writing was the resource that allowed my thoughts and emotions to form creative expression. Sometimes what I wrote was very dark, but by having these words out of my head I no longer felt the urge to keep replaying these thoughts like a broken record. Eventually time passed and I would read what was written as an observer, no longer attached to the heavy emotions. One day I decided I didn’t need this record of broken feelings because I felt no ownership to them, and deleted the entire blog. I started a new blog that is representative of the stage in my growth on this journey:  I discovered I enjoy writing poetry very recently, and found a new way to express my thoughts that come from the heart.


Artist of photo: Iain Blake




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