On Collaborative Mission Work

By Stephen Simmer

For it is important that awake people be awake;
Or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
The signals we give, yes or no, or maybe should be clear;
The darkness around us is deep.
William Stafford

I’d like to open a discussion about collaborative mission work. Maybe it’s an obvious point, but I have a larger point I want to get to. We have all heard the piece about how the universe is all made from the same stuff, vibrating electromagnetic energy. This means that the whole idea of separate individuals, you and me and those others out there, is a delusion. We are just different parts of the huge, continuous electromagnetic sea. But even though we have heard a lot about co-created reality, etc., the idea of co-creation has not penetrated our usual ideas of mission.

We talk of your mission and my mission and their missions, lots of separate missions going in different directions like bees. But in spite of appearances, bees are actually tightly organized as members of a hive, and their individual flights are part of an encompassing hive mission. And in reality, our missions interpenetrate. I see you work or hear you talk, and I may be inspired and join you. I can read a book and be influenced by it, and thereby join an invisible hive of other readers, also inspired by that book.

Collaborative mission work actually happens a lot, but we don’t talk about it much. It certainly happens on the weekend; thirty-plus staff men and ten men of service working together to create what we all experienced there; in a work as intricate and as complex as a play or a tight musical performance. It happens when a man steps into leadership on an issue and others join him, whether that issue is prison work or a parallel training or father-daughter event. It happens when an I-group does a work project together. And when we select community leaders, we have that hotseat process that builds consensus, a beautiful (imj) model of collaborative problem-solving.

So, what’s the point?

I want to be part of a community where it matters to me whether you make your stretch or not, aside from “I care about you as a man and I want you to succeed,” etc. It would matter if we were at war and you fell asleep at your post. If we were part of a football team, it would matter to me if you dropped the ball. In those situations, we would have a clearly stated group mission, and each person’s individual mission is a part of that whole.

I want to be a part of a community where we have more clearly stated collaborative missions: not with I-groups, but with We-groups, working together as teams. I know, I know, we can’t dictate what I-groups do, nor what individuals do. This isn’t about dictating, it’s about shared vision. I want to be part of a community where it matters to me what your I-group does, “For it is important that awake people be awake.”

Stephen Simmer

About Stephen Simmer-I am a psychotherapist serving Western Massachusetts, with offices in West Springfield and Northampton, Massachusetts.
To learn more about me and my work visit:http://www.stephensimmer.com

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.

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