Monday, November 4, 2013

Cooperation

These days we so often hear about things that drive us apart. Politics. Religion. War. Intelligence. Marital status. Kids. And even when we hear about someone working together, we think of the most unpositive of motives. Profit. Greed. Price-fixing. Destruction. Hate. Envy. We seem to have lost, as a nation, the ability to hear people out for what they are doing - helping one another because they are human beings. So often I see people who feel they are always in competition with one another, not willing to give up an ounce of their time for others. There's a certain limit, of course, because we all have to guard our time with care to spend it on the things that we value. But I think everyone in the world knows someone who never gives time to anything and spends their time on what we would typically call selfish pursuits - drinking, gambling, whoring, mooching, drugging, clubbing, etc. And you just want to shake them and say "Don't you see what a negative influence you are on the world around you? Can't you see that the world exists beyond you?". Even when folks aren't driven by these activities, they are often so profit-minded that they spend all their time counting money rather than noticing the world around them.

That's why I love entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Tony Hawk, and others, that give back so much to the business community. Yes, they are out to make money. And yes, they have their businesses. But they also know that by sharing their value, knowledge, and skill with other entrepreneurs and non-profits, that they can make this world a better place. They give transparent feedback without ulterior motive or suspicion, because that's who they are. They recognize talent. They share their knowledge and knowledge of opportunities because they know the world builds more from addition than subtraction.

I am so pleased that the knitting and crocheting community has come together to offer the Indie Gift a Long on Ravelry. Yes, you can absolutely compete to your heart's content if you want to. But if you don't, you can still take part in what amounts to the biggest discount campaign on independent patterns I've ever seen, and support people who have a small business, making their living doing what they love AND supporting their fellow designers.

So that's what I'm thankful for today - that people still come together to do things that are amazing, great and small.

[Side note: I wrote this on Sunday, but I set it to auto publish at noon on Monday, just in case my employer is wondering. And I thoroughly apologize if I offend anyone with the language in this blog entry.]
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