The individual versus the collective.

The individual versus the collective.

Often I find in my life, that there are themes, there is something going on in the atmosphere and the same themes or conversations are happening all reflecting the same thoughts and lessons.

So lets see if I can tie it all in together.

Currently I work in projects and events rolling out a massive event this past weekend with lots of moving parts.

There's lots of leaders looking after their own section but ultimately everyone is in it all together to roll out the event.

Individual sections. Collective event.

And it's been interesting to see how it all plays out. Some people are very much concerned about their own sections and some are putting the greater good - the collective before their individual sections.

In team meetings, it was discussed to put the greater good before the individual sections knowing that everything would get done, but when it came down to it, individuals put themselves first.

And because of that, a whole bunch of unintended consequences occurred, putting the collective under enormous stress.

When the individuals were called out on it, they could see the mistake they made, but it had to be bought to their attention.

People can get very focussed on how something affects them.
Instead of how it affects the collective.


We have become a highly individualistic society. We do things for ourselves and think of ourselves before others. Other cultures are different.

(I did love this Esther Perel podcast episode talking about a couple, one who is individualised and the other is collective and they are in a relationship - see, themes pop up in my life!)

Likewise in my work, I've been able to see all the different sections and how "silo-ed" they all are. Yes like a spider's web, it's all interconnected and if you pull one section, that is reverberated through the whole web.

Staffing impacts on training, training impacts on production, production impacts on training and staffing, it all interweaves.

One can't help but be connected and impacted by the other.
If something doesn't work somewhere, that affects everything else.


Individuals vs the Collective.

Sadly we don't expect much from each other these days.

As a society, we expect people to be selfish.  I think lots of things tie in together here. Covid changed us, we became frightened of other people, big groups frightened us, we did stick to smaller circles and I think all of that impacts us. Other things like volunteering numbers are down, that idea of giving to others with nothing back for yourself, all of those things change who we are.

We are surprised if people do the kind thing or the right thing. It's quite a sad state of affairs right?

Social media becomes it's own echo chamber.

We are surrounded by people that are similar to us.

These highly individual lives make it hard to think about others before ourselves.

But what if we could do both? It's not an either/or situation.

We can still think of the individual and the collective.

Building a world where everyone prospers. 


Cut to the Voice referendum this past weekend.

Here was an opportunity to make someone else feel seen, heard, or acknowledged.

The opportunity to make someone's else life better, that would  likely have absolutely no affect on your own life

And we couldn't get it done.

Individual over the collective.

So feel all your feelings, the rage, disbelief, shock, disappointment, sadness, grief, devastation, feel it all.

And then lets get on with it.

As always I love to give a list of actionable steps. I always feel better doing something. They don't solve the problem but through a bunch of tiny actions, greater action happens.

So let's start here;

Love people. All people.
My first answer is always to love people. We have to love each other fiercely. We have to love our First Nations people and my god, we need to love the no voters. Especially them. Because maybe by loving them, they heal, they become a little less scared. Maybe by loving them, we change them.

Support First Nations Products and Businesses.

This is an obvious one, there's plenty out there, seek them out but also read the books, and educate. There's this great calendar by Beck Feiner remembering important indigenous dates. And obviously there's all the indigenous earrings here and here.

Have the hard conversations.
You thought it was hard to have a conversation before the vote. Now it only gets harder. Because it's likely that we all know No voters. We love them and yet we still have hard conversations. You think having a hard conversation is hard, try not having it. 

As always approach from curiosity not accusations. I'm always of the idea that we don't change peoples mind. People change their minds when they are ready. So don't go in with the idea of changing someone's mind, go in with curiousity and having a conversation. Go for understanding them and why and always, always with love.

The world feels a little dark right now, if you have capacity, be the light. Like back in covid days, do the kind thing, do something surprising for someone else, buy someone else's coffee, break bread with your neighbours.

The way the world gets better is with you.

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