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“It must be obvious to those who take the time to look at human life that its greatest values lie not in getting things, but in doing them, in doing them together, in all working toward a common aim, in the experience of comradeship, of warmhearted one hundred percent human life” (W. T. Grant).
WE OFTEN UNDERESTIMATE THE GOODNESS THAT IS GENERATED WHEN PEOPLE WORK TOGETHER ON SOMETHING THEY’RE ALL PASSIONATELY COMMITTED TO. Call it “synergy” or whatever you like, there is something very special that takes place when two or more people make a mutual assault on a challenge that would be too much for any of them individually. When the undertaking is dangerous or physically threatening, the spirit of “camaraderie” is especially deep and meaningful, but we don’t have to be soldiers sharing a foxhole under enemy fire to experience the benefits of this phenomenon. There are many other ways we can be comrades.
The main ingredient necessary for the spirit of camaraderie is a common vision or purpose. To be bound together beneficially, a group must have a goal that is not only held in common but is also felt to be very important by the group. When two or more people are committed to a goal that is greater than any differences that might separate them, powerful things are likely to take place. When a group has a goal greater than its differences, you’d be wise to stand back. It’s coming through, and if you’re an obstruction, you’re likely to be mowed down.
The wonderful thing about life is that there is no shortage of good goals that can weld us together. And not only that, we can be members of more than one group, committed to more than one goal.
These days, most of us live and work in locales where there are many other people. We find ourselves being with other human beings whether we want to be or not. But the really good things in life won’t come to us unless we move beyond physical closeness to actual camaraderie. It takes a conscious choice on our part to connect healthily to those who jostle up against us from day to day. Good, mutually beneficial relationships are there for the making, and we ought not to be content to occupy physically adjoining spaces. With at least a few of these people, we need to become comrades.
“A crowd is not company” (Old Saying).