Last night was a wonderful illustration of the sentiments expressed in 17th century John Donne’s book, No Man Is an Island. (I’m guessing he meant woman as well.) Individuals have superb singular talents that can be greatly appreciated for what they are. The issue is: while there are things that can be accomplished alone, there are wonderful things to experience that simply would not exist without cooperative effort.
A person might be a consummate bulldozer operator, but it would have been impossible for he/she to alone build the Hoover Dam. A person might be a world-class auto mechanic, but it would have been impossible for he/she to produce my Toyota Tacoma pickup truck all by his/her lonesome. Group effort. The lion’s share of life is the product of people banding together to accomplish something.
The illustration from last night was a choral concert at one of our local high schools. Over one hundred boys and girls not only sang their hearts out, they did so with gusto, aplomb, and professionalism. In a word, it was splendiferous. Those of us privileged to hear the concert did so not only due to the singers, but because of the efforts of the director, the accompanist, the lighting technicians, and others in supporting roles.
The operative principles here are teamwork, combined effort, cooperation, and synergy, and they made life total joy for an hour-plus last night. The kids had a ball. The audience reveled. The parents’ buttons were popping. The place was awash with school spirit. Life was really good.
It is how societies are meant to work.