Friday, June 29, 2018

Insight: The ocean and the forest by Lorraine Glowczak

"Bringing Unity to the Community” is the Windham Summerfest motto. The Summerfest Committee and all others who worked tirelessly in creating a fun and successful community event, did an incredible job making all the parts come together this past weekend. Kudos to you all. 

I imagine; however, there were some challenges along the way and it wasn’t as easy as they made it appear.

There is no denying that words like civility, teamwork and unity are becoming tattered and worn with overuse and I suspect many of us are becoming tattered and worn by trying to bring those words to our lives through actions.

Participating with others while working toward the same goal is a thorny task that challenges even the best among us. This creates the question: Is there an effortless way to collaborate with others without too many puncture wounds for all involved?

I wish I could offer a thought provoking answer. Not only would it help solve many of today’s issues in civility, but I would have the next best-selling self-help book on the shelves today.  

What I can pose is one tiny little perspective that may help ease some pain of challenging interactions.

One of my favorite spots to visit when I first moved to Maine was Mackworth Island. One day while exploring, I took a moment to sit on a beach on one side of the island to enjoy the incredible view. All I saw was rolling waves, boulders in the water and the Portland skyline. Ready to head back, I turned around to walk toward the path on the inside of the Island and was struck by the beauty of the tall pines, trees and flowering bushes. It dawned on me that by just turning around in a 90-degree angle, I had a completely different viewpoint.

What I had observed that day was Mackworth Island provided two opposing truths. One truth was the ocean, the other truth - the forest. 

Imagine if there were two different people and they had their backs to one another. The individual facing the ocean could say, “Wow! Look at all the water! Isn’t it beautiful?” The other person might possibly respond, “You’re nuts and you’re wrong. There is no water at all.”

They both would be right. They could argue back and forth or discover that the ocean and the forest both exists. If they choose to learn from each other, their world will expand to include both perceptions of nature. If they continue to disagree and hold steadfast to their viewpoints, their understanding of the world will remain small – and boring.

The next time we all work together, perhaps we can remember this analogy or something similar, and the efforts of teamwork may not seem so painful. It may also expand our view of the world and make us a bit more interesting.

If this week’s Insight makes your next collaborative effort go more smoothly and work with betters with others, let me know. I have always wanted to be a best-selling author!

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