Fourth Week in October
I love teams. I like our common goal. I like the collective effort. I like celebrating my teammates’ talents and accomplishments. I like to be illuminated by the reflected shine of a star.
I understand not everyone feels at home on a team. The first thought you might have is a sports team, which, if you aren’t an athlete, can be alienating. Sports teams are only one type of team. There are bands, orchestras, debate, math, sales, research teams, families, and couples. In these systems there is mutual investment, interdependent strength, a dispersal of burden and struggle, good-natured competition, and a deep power. The saying goes, “man cannot live on rice alone,” and though rice is generally understood to be the variable, the wisdom of the aphorism reveals the state of eating rice is also variable and impactful. One can live on rice and friendship, rice and community. We are not sustained by only food, but by shared goals, shared values, shared outcomes, and shared lots.
Teamwork allows us to see accomplishments as the result of collective, instead of personal, effort. Teamwork draws out our desire to be a good teammate, to acknowledge our teammates in turn, to dig deep to achieve our goal, and do our best. Indeed, when confronted with success or failure we cannot be sure if it is we who made it possible for our teammates to persevere or if it is they who made it possible for us.