Lifestyle — August 11, 2021 at 1:10 pm

Pieces of a Greater Wholeheartedness


With us living in a world of extremes these days, I believe a timely shift in our collective way of thinking is in order; collective being the operative word.

It’s commonly thought that somehow our individual decisions are our own and that the plights and problems of others are just that. Thinking, “It’s none of our business,” somehow also equates to “It’s not our problem” when something doesn’t seem to directly involve us, but is that really true? From the seemingly inconsequential choices we make in our micro personal and professional lives, to those we make on a political, socio-macro scale, are we going about our daily lives governed mostly by our own interests, or are we giving thought to the collective sum of our choices and actions? It’s time to engage, because in reality, we as a people and as a species on this earth are all much more interconnected than we truly understand.

We must stop wearing exhaustion as a status symbol in our society and stop martyring ourselves to the point where everyone believes their life, work, or time is somehow more important or valuable, than helping anyone else. You hear it in every utterance of “I’m too busy for _____.” It’s behind every closed door, and ounce of work that’s avoided. If energies like this are left unchecked, they can dismantle and be quite destructive. Yes, we all need healthy boundaries, and to recognize when we’re enabling instead of helping, but we also need balance and we’re all ultimately yearning for harmony.

The mathematical Chaos Theory, or more specifically, The Butterfly Effect, suggests one small change in circumstances can affect larger conditions; or that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil can set off a tornado in Texas. Whether you believe this theory or not, we’ve seen any number of examples of when collective decisions can cause a disruption, be it good or bad, in areas from everything such as environmental issues to societal concerns. We call them trends, and they’re the ebb and flow of life. Eventually these trends compound to the point where they cannot be ignored and almost always, the solution has effects on everyone whether they realize it or not.

Take something as nondescript as an office coffee maker. A lack of conscientiousness among staff to make a new pot or keep the appliance clean may lead an employer to remove it altogether. This now forces everyone in the office to change their routine in order to access coffee throughout the day. Maybe a coffee service is hired to avoid these other issues, but with a new expenditure may come higher quotas or a cut in another area to meet the cost.

Everything we do or decide not to do has an effect on the world around us, and the truth is the real power of good culture comes from living courteously, thoughtfully, and in service of others, not just from physically being together in a space. It’s why philosophers like Aristotle were of the mind that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and why we take strength from mantras like “together we stand; divided we fall.”

We feel stronger when we feel connected, but that sense is in short supply after a distanced year and a half of living and working remotely. To walk this path again, begins with each of us, the individuals who together make each company what it is. We must widen our gaze and pay more attention to wholehearted ways of being whether together or not. We must ask not just what a company can do for us, but what we can do for each other.

By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer and Graphic Designer

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