Dependence seems to be Maturity

From our cultural perspective…where we are all about self-help, advancement, promotion, and excellence…it may appear to be ridiculous to make a statement such as the one I have made in the title of this blog entry.

I first wrote this phrase into a song several years ago in the context of victory over destructive habits. You may now wonder why in the world I am writing it into the context of a business blog…

In short, I find myself to be tiring of the thinly veiled arrogance that is so much a part of our organizational culture. We can justify much in the pursuit of excellence…and betray the core of our purpose in the process. We can purport to be an advocate for people, and step on people through our advocacy. We can take up a mission of charity, and extort or belittle all who frustrate us.  We aspire to integrity, but constantly betray our values in fear of consequence, or lust for more.

Vocational efforts should be less about our advancement, and more about our role within creation…our service to people and planet. Everyone has a part to play, and all parts are needed. Not one of us is an island unto themselves.

When we begin in our vocational roles, we often charge forward with passion to change the world. As we mature we should at some stage come to an awareness that we need others to collaborate, and therefore we should arrive at a perspective of value and appreciation for others. A deepening of maturity from this point should lead us to set aside arrogance, as we begin to see how much of our life…personal, vocational and organizational…is outside of our control.

On a personal level, explain to me how you keep your own heart beating, or how you jump-started it in the first place. On a vocational level, explain to me how you came to possess the aptitude to acquire the skills and experience that you possess. On an organizational level, explain to me how you could accomplish the mission alone.

An amazing thing happens when we arrive at the place where we become aware of our utter dependence…we become more willing to embrace it. We find ourselves more willing to extend grace, for we will require the same. We find ourselves developing a posture of humility, as we realize how little of our “success” is truly of our own making. We find ourselves in a posture of peace and contentment, less driven and less fearful.

I have had a few encounters recently, with people who have continued in arrogance well on into the senior years of life. Their thinly veiled arrogance blinded them from what they could otherwise have seen. It also pointed to a root of deep personal insecurity. I don’t find myself angry with them…but they serve as an example for what I do not want to become…how I do not want to treat others. In the end, this is all I can control…the surrender of my own pride and fear…to be vulnerable in my dependence…along with the rest of creation.