Why Teamwork is the Key to Getting Through the Contagion and Life

teamwork

Have you heard of the “Red or Black” game? It’s perfect for showing why teamwork is the key to getting through the corona virus contagion and life. It’s very simple. The objective is to finish the game with the most points. There are two teams and five rounds. All each team has to do is choose red or black.

Points are awarded as follows:

  • If Team A and Team B choose red, both teams lose 5 points.
  • If Team A chooses red and Team B chooses black, Team A gains 10 points, and Team B loses 10 points.
  • When Team A chooses black and Team B chooses red, Team B gains 10 points, and team A loses 10 points.
  • If Team A and Team B choose black, both teams gain 3 points.

In the game of life, red is a vote for me, black is a vote for we.

We are all playing this game every day whether we know it or not, only with a multitude of players. Let’s walk through it to show you what I mean.

Round One

A goes into the store and buys a truckload of toilet paper that sits in a closet. He’s reserving the option to sell it for $5 a roll. He is effectively choosing red.

B either doesn’t have any because A bought it all or takes one pack so that others can have some. She’s choosing black.

Score at the end of round one. A: 10, B: -10.

Round Two

A and B are both stir crazy. They can’t go to the gym because it’s closed. They have both heard that sunshine is good for the immune system.

A takes the family to a crowded park, let’s the kids play on the swing set, then stops off at the grocery store on the way home to save time. He is effectively choosing red again.

B goes into her backyard with a chair and a book and sits in the sun. She’s effectively choosing black again.

Score at the end of round two. A: 20, B -20.

Round Three

A and B are feeling isolated and alone.

A calls a couple friends over to drink beer and watch a movie. After all it’s just three people. A is choosing red again.

B hosts a virtual watch party with friends. B is choosing black again.

Score at the end of round three. A: 30, B -30.

Round Four

It’s been two weeks now of social distancing. They both having mild symptoms, yet both live paycheck to paycheck and need their jobs to continue paying rent and eating. A didn’t contemplate calling a doctor. B did but was told that she wasn’t sick enough to get tested. Both continued to go to work, effectively choosing red.

Score at the end of round four. A: 25, B -35

Round Five

Both A and B have elderly neighbors. A has a stockpile of food and supplies, but doesn’t share. He also doesn’t offer to go to the store for them or help them in any way. Once again, A chooses red. B doesn’t have a lot to share, but checks on them and helps them out when she can. Once again B chooses black.

Score at the end of round five. A: 35, B-45.

Winning the Game

Now, it may seem like A won the game. He did what he wanted to do and has the most points. However, the objective of the game isn’t to see which team ends the game with the most points. It is to end the game with the most points. That takes teamwork. A gained 35, but B lost 45, so the net total is -10.

If all it takes to “win” is +1, A lost the game for everyone each time he made a play because he consistently ignored the big picture. He chose “me” over “we” every time.

Sovereignty is about me. It’s about carrying my weight, making myself happy, stepping into my power and truth, and being the best I can be. Connection is about living in relationship with everyone and everything else.

I can’t have connection if my sovereignty comes at the cost of the team. I have to give as much as I take and support as much as a lean on them. Every time I choose me over we, we all lose. If I give it all away and take nothing, that’s a loss, too. It has to be me and we. We are in this life together. We need a balance of sovereignty and connection, not one or the other.

Life is teamwork. As children we are dependent. The adults carry our weight. When we are adults, we carry the children and pay it forward so that when we are elderly, we can lean on others without being a burden. We’ve already provided those behind us with the guidance and resources to help them help us. That’s teamwork. Everyone is cared for.

Another way to look at it is trust vs. fear. Making a black move is living in trust. Red is living in fear. Fear is infectious. Fear makes people move into their protective, taker space. It contracts our hearts and spreads mistrust. Trust opens, inspires, connects, and encourages growth and happiness. Where do you want to live? Who do you want to be? Think about that the next time you make a move. It matters.

Sovereignty in a Time of Disease

soveriegnty

Wayne Dyer said, “When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out because that’s what’s inside.” The corona virus is squeezing us. What’s coming out? Are you really a modern animist? We’re all being tested.  How do you practice sovereignty in a time of disease outbreak?

How you conduct yourself is up to you. Here are some ideas.

Take Care of Yourself First

Nature has a order. Children needs adults to protect them, provide for them, and nurture them until they are mature enough to do it for themselves. The elderly and sick also need this support from adults. Adults are Atlas who holds up the sky for everyone else. As an adult, your primary responsibility is to yourself. If you have dependents and animals, you are also responsible for them. If adults can’t care for themselves, the whole system collapses.

There are always going to be dependent people. When we have a society of responsible adults who can take care of themselves, the load is easier on those who bear it. “Responsible adult” means someone who provides for his own food, healthcare, transportation, shelter, clothing, water, and other necessities.

During a disease outbreak, you make the call whether it’s in your best interest to isolate or serve in some way. That choice impacts others. Choose wisely.

Remember also that sometimes exercising sovereignty is knowing when to ask for help. If you can’t do it alone, no one will know if you don’t speak up.

Reduce Your Vulnerabilities

All adults want to feel secure and competent- especially if you are to assume responsibility for yourself. The more vulnerabilities you have, the less power you perceive yourself to have. The less power you have, the more fear you have. This is not a great place to be when there is a disease outbreak. Fear creates mistakes and panic. You can’t hold up the world if you are afraid. So how to you become less fearful?

Have Resources

The most commonly used resource is money. Money buys products, services, and experiences. It can assure your safety in some cases. However, in times of disease outbreak, the things you need may not be able to be bought at any price. So what do you do when your money is useless?

There are human resources – family, friends, and neighbors are resources. If you have cultivated relationships, you can work together to do things that would be harder or impossible to do alone. It’s like Stone Soup. If we all get together and pool resources, we can share the work, food, hardship, and happiness.

Information is another resource. If you have useful information, you can make wise decisions. Of course, it’s only as good as your ability to interpret it.

Land is another resource. It gives you a place to live, provides food, and helps you to stay healthy. If you care for it, it can care for you. There other resources, but you get the idea.

Develop Skills

Skills allow you to take charge, do things for yourself, help others, and be independent. Some skills can help you to acquire money if you use them in employment. Other skills- like emotional regulation- help you to get along better with others.

The more skills you have, the fewer problems you have because if something comes up, you can just deal with it if you have the appropriate skills. Otherwise you struggle.

Skills also give you options. If I can weave a basket, I have a choice whether I want to weave one, buy one, or sell one. If I can make natural medicines, I can go to the doctor, care for myself, care for others, or do nothing. Choice is a huge component of stress. The more options I have, the more secure I feel.

What skills you cultivate are entirely up to your values and desires. Some suggestions are: communication, emotional intelligence, wild crafting, sewing, hunting, medicine making, cooking, writing, leadership, driving, food storage, carpentry, auto repair, small engine repair, energy healing, conducting rituals, and gardening.

Help Others

Now assuming you’re healthy, can take care of yourself, and have skills, you’re in a position to help others. Situations like disease outbreak overwhelm the system. Too many people have the same needs all at once. Too many people need help all at once. If you are in a position to serve, how can you help so that everyone else can stay safe? Here are some suggestions.

  • Make grocery store or pharmacy runs for people who are in isolation.
  • If it’s safe and you are well, go to work so that products and services continue to be produced.
  • Care the for sick.
  • Check on your neighbors, the homeless, or other vulnerable populations.
  • If you have food or supplies to share, share.
  • Care for the animals that belong to the sick.
  • Can you fix something for someone who is unwell?
  • If you are unwell, you can voluntarily isolate and ask for help meeting your needs so you can stay in isolation so that you don’t expose others.
  • Can you house others so that someone can stay in isolation?
  • Are there kids who need care so that their parent can stay in isolation?
  • Are you leading, helping, healing, and inspiring – or creating panic and anxiety? Calm and joy are great healers.

A disease outbreak is not my problem or your problem. It’s our problem. We can all get through if we do our part. When we show up in the world as our highest, best, and most skillful selves, we all benefit.