I versus We

Our world today seems to be revolving around “I”. The day we grow from “I” to “We”, we may have arrived. While it may look simple, it is possibly the most difficult and challenging transition in life. While it looks like a single alphabet to a double alphabet, it is is not as simple as that.

The first and foremost hurdle in this change process is our “ego”. Our ego prevents us to subsume the “I” in our thinking and move towards the “We”. We are worried all the time about ourselves and our family members. The first step could be to think of our community and our society at large, wherever we live.

If every individual is selfish enough to care for self and not worry about others well being, the world evolves into a cruel place to live in. The day we are able to sacrifice selfish needs to the larger good of others, our journey of transition begins.

One may wonder where this all begins. In my view, the family is the basic social unit of society, where it all begins. As parents and elders, it is our duty to inculcate the right values amongst children so that they are able to see beyond themselves always.

I remember my school days, wherein sharing our tiffin was such a source of joy. Today parents advise children not to share and think it is unhealthy for everyone. Ofcourse during the pandemic days it may be better not to share. But in normal times, sharing is caring.

Our schools and colleges also need to re look at the curriculum to promote the “We” rather than the “I”. Everyone is encouraged to excel as individuals whether in academics or otherwise. We need to possibly redesign our academic courses to promote peer learning and enabling each other to succeed.

I realise that countries which promote “We” more than “I” are better in team sports than individual games. Team spirit not only enables this crucial transition in life but also enables growth of individuals, teams, communities and societies, at large.

Even organisation cultures and performance management systems tend to promote “I” over “We”. It is time to challenge all of these and ensure that we promote team work more than individual excellence. I am not for one stating the individuals should not strive for excellence. What I am suggesting that individual brilliance should not be at the cost of others.

Lastly, as a community, society and nation also we need to promote this change. We need to enable each other to succeed every day in our lives. We need to support other families and communities to be successful. Even states need to enable each other to move forward.

The current pandemic is a great opportunity for the developed world to enable the developing world to face this crisis together. We need to remember that humanity will survive only by collective efforts and not by individual brilliance of nations.

Let us together resolve to move from”I” to “We”.

S Ramesh Shankar

10th May 2021

4 thoughts on “I versus We

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