We humans are all so inherently, ineffably different. The consequence is we can either have the constant, incredible desire to fight with each other because we are so different, or we can leverage our diversity to become the greatest collaborators imaginable.
The challenge is that we can never do both of these things at the same time.
Let me break this down another way.
Some things come easy to us and some things do not. What is impossible for one person is easy for another.
It’s rather like tallness — to a tall person, getting a plate off the high shelf is the easiest thing in the world. To someone short, it is all but impossible (without assistance from a chair or ladder). Should the ‘shorts’ be spending their lives hating the ‘talls,’ or vice-versa? It seems it would be much better if they were simply to use each other for their complementary strengths.
We are either bent toward collaboration or war.
And we have the equal capacity for both of these things in us at all times.
The only thing that makes the difference is what we decide to do in each moment. Most times, these aren’t big, sweeping decisions, either, but tiny, micro-choices. We make millions of these every day: How do I view my colleague in the office across the hall? What’s my opinion of the barista behind the counter? What the story behind the person mopping the floor?
This tiny space is where war begins; not in our corporate conference rooms or the Oval Office or the Pentagon, but inside each of our heads and behind our eyes, in the microscopic ways we decide to see the world, every second of every day.
So… collaboration or war?
The Epic Fail of California (and Why It Matters) by Josh Allan Dykstra on October 4th, 2009
“What Would Jesus Do?” From GQ by Josh Allan Dykstra on February 9th, 2007
We Are What We Choose (2010 Princeton Baccalaureate Remarks by Jeff Bezos) by Josh Allan Dykstra on June 20th, 2010