This is an appreciation post for everyone in my life. Without all of you, I would not be as I am today. It truly takes a village.
For all time we have praised revolutionary leaders as having brought about change. As important an ingredient leadership is, it is simply that, an ingredient. If any one person could heal the world's ills, they would have by now. Every movement that has had an impact on how we live has been the product of community. Even here at home, apartheid in its original incarnation was not defeated by any single great individual. It took legions of dedicated communities to usher in the nation as we have it today.
Individual responsibility is also important; we are accountable for our growth and impact. I advocate for extreme ownership over one’s life, however, no person is an island. The lives of others, past and present, leave an imprint on our own. It is undeniable, that no great human feat is achievable without our collective knowledge and dedication. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often misinterpreted in this regard. Many believe that at the top of the pyramid sits self-actualisation, but similar to the First Nations tribes from which he borrowed this perspective, self-transcendence is what follows from self-actualisation. Furthermore, there is no pyramid. This philosophy was meant to be cyclical, with each phase feeding into the next in perpetuity.
Communal cooperation has time and time again proven to be our only salvation. Even when we peer into the realities of devastated communities, poverty does not exist as its own concept, only as a result of lacking community. If your plan is to change the world on your own, you must realise you are on a fruitless errand, but if your plan is to go with others, your collective mission is sure to bear fruit. Because together, we got this.
An email the late Steve Jobs sent to himself in appreciation of all humanity has given him.