I’m sitting with my amazing friend Mandy Straight and she is pushing me off my block. You know, when you feel you have a belief or paradigm that you have held for your whole life and the person is looking at you like your crazy and that you can’t see the light before your eyes…and you still refuse to budge.
In this case the paradigm I am clinging to is "there is no true altruistic act." Of course with Mandy it is always much deeper than that. Don’t get me wrong, I am following her, I just don't want to accept it. Accept what? I feel when I help people, which I am drawn to do like a moth to a flame, I do it because of the resulting joy I get when someone says “aha!"
She is trying to show me that my motivation is so much more. I feel like I am sitting there with my arms crossed over my chest leaning back and giving no ground. What’s weird is I actually hate that about myself, yet I feel like I need to protect this castle of paradigms I have created. Mandy is assailing the castle and I am taking shots at everything she throws at me.
Even though I am not on the walls watching, I realize Mandy has not given up on her assault. I am watching a TedxBerkeley talk by Tiffany Shlain recommended to me by Mandy. During Ms. Shlain's talk, she plays this short movie she made on the Declaration of Interdependence. I begin to compare the differences between her proposed Declaration and the US Declaration of Independence. I begin to think about what she is proposing: a world where we have the inalienable rights to connect and bond - but not only with US citizens, but with citizens of the world. At that point I realize the film is a Trojan Horse!
My world flips on it’s head. Mandy's assault on my paradigm breaks through. I can not hold onto my paradigm any longer. It is clear I have this overwhelming need to connect and bond with other people. It is as pervasive as my need to think, breathe, and assimilate patterns. My desire and the resulting joy I feel from “getting” to work with others is fed not by the resulting joy (as I have stubbornly held onto for years) but the ongoing feeling of connectedness and my need for interdependence, which is inherently human.
This shift opens my heart in ways I can not even fathom at this moment. The paradigm of independence has shifted to interdependence, selfishness to compassion, from lonely to lovely. Thank you Mandy for having the strength of soul to assail my castle.
So my friends, if you are ready for a shift that will shake the walls of your castle, examine this - We Are All Interdependent. We do not need to be selfish to feel joy. Maybe we just want to connect. So go forth and CONNECT WITH THOSE IN YOUR LIFE! I know they too want to connect and bond. Just reach out and hold someone’s hand.