Life’s Keystone


I remember back in highschool when all my friends had blogs. First we started with Xanga, and then moved onto WordPress. Some went to Tumblr, others dispersed in other directions.

During the early days when I used WordPress, a friend of mine changed his banner, reading “Great minds think alike—greater minds think alone.”  My initial response was sadness:  I felt sorry for my friend that he viewed his life better when separated from others.  But that emotion grew to something completely different.   I wasn’t just sad for my friend—this belief he had conjured was wrong.

However, this belief isn’t his alone.  Our society shares it—even if it doesn’t blatantly profess it.  We had the older Myspace, where we selected a small amount of people to be on our “Top 8”.  We have Google Plus, where we differentiate which friends belong in what circles.  We have online radios, where we select what music we want when we want it for that “perfect mood.”  We select iPods over stereos—ear buds over speakers.  We have multiple televisions in different rooms so that each person in the household can watch what they want.  We want what we want—no compromise.

It’s no wonder Congress is broken—if politicians are supposed to serve the people, then they’ve done a perfect service.  We want no compromise?  Then our Congressmen have done the same.

In the cause for individualism, we have defaced the value of community.  In our desire to “be who we are,” we have shut the doors on other people who want to be a part of us.

Often times, we think that the only way we can become stronger is if we separate ourselves from others and learn to fight alone.  Sure, that makes for a good Hollywood movie—one man fights thirty thugs.  But that’s not how it works in reality.  We are stronger when we gather together.  Imagine the American Revolution if each of the thirteen colonies attempted to fight Great Britain.  Imagine the Civil Rights movement if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not have support from others who felt the same as he.  Imagine Alexander the Great attempting to conquer Egypt, Persia, and India without his army [well, actually, if it wasn’t for his army, Alexander would have gone further than India—but that’s beside the point]

We need others.  It doesn’t matter if you are on the top of the pyramid, on the bottom, or anywhere in the middle.  We all need support.  We all need accountability.  We all need multiple perspectives.  It doesn’t matter how strong you are, we all need other people—not only to share the burden of living, but to converse about things that matter.

If you want this world to be a better place, then stop building these walls for the sake of establishing who you are.  While individualism is important, any good thing taken to an unhealthy extreme is… unhealthy.  Get to know your neighbors.  Even if they aren’t like you, get to know them and care for them as yourself. And then maybe… just maybe, this talk about love and world peace might be understood.  But this will never be achieved through the strength of one (hu)man.  It can only be realised in community.

About Jonathan Seligman

Jon is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of NWYT. While his main profession is in education/music/history, he has a deep passion for philosophy, theology, ice cream, and everything else that life has to offer. See All of Jon's Posts

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