Wherever two or more are gathered
I was taught to not look over my classmate’s shoulder for the answers. To memorize the textbook, and to be able to repeat back what was in the lecture. I was taught — in explicit and implicit ways — to figure it out on my own. To become a “problem solver,” meaning, someone with answers. I was taught to “pull my weight” and to “add value.” These lessons came in school, where the measurements were clear (and, I was certain, totally objective), and they came in life. From parents, friends, employers. They came from TV, movies, and books. They came from cultural myths. Heck, they were even baked into many of the interpretations of religious scriptures I was presented with.
So, when it comes to being creative, when it comes to expression, the natural thing is to sit down alone, right? To try and find answers in the inquiry of what is moving through me. Yes?
What if all of this is upside down. Not to say that the act of individual creation isn’t good, or even possible. It clearly is. Look at what I’m doing right now (for better or for worse). But think about what is possible together. What is possible when we cheat, and ask for help. When we combine our wisdom.
Today I had two conversations. One with a group of colleagues for about 90 minutes. The other with a friend for about two hours. Each of them ended up being, in their own way, a creative exploration. We were all better for the whole of us.
We were all much more than any one of us.
We were able to see much more.
This is the power of the collective.