No man is an island. I remember hearing that in a song once. The idea, the notion, that nothing can be done alone. That no one can achieve anything without the assistance of other people. It is a simple truth that exists as much within us as humans as it does on the atomic level. But heres the funny thing. No matter how prevalent it may be, no matter how intrinsically it is woven into the very universe…
This thought process, at first, seems natural and normal. Like, why would I not want to do things on my own? Why not strive to be strong and independent? It would be better for others to not have to carry my weight or deal with my issues, right? Well, no. We are meant to work together. In tandem. Pairs or groups. Seriously.
Think of it this way. All the clothes you have, the place you live in, the food you eat and the computer you are reading this on? Designed, manufactured, shipped and sold by other people. You pay them to give you stuff. You work together. And what about physically? Our process of propagation as a species requires two people from opposing physical genders. We cannot reproduce asexually. Even socially! Two people (like many standard couples) working through each others problems together are ultimately going to have a better time coming up with solutions, and putting those solutions into action, then both of them working alone. We seem to be designed physically and neurologically with gaps and defects that can easily be compensated for via simple interactions with another individual.
And even all the way down to the atomic level! Protons and electrons and neutrons are required to make any form of matter. Three particles, all with different charges, must be combined and work together in order to make stuff. Any stuff! Any of these particles acting alone do almost nothing. But together they make everything.
So why then do we try and push ourselves away from everyone else? Why do we try and accomplish so much alone?
Honestly? I have no idea.
Pride is a powerful thing and it runs deeper in some then it does in others. We have this notion that maybe if we can do things alone and we don’t need help that we are somehow stronger then others. That we are better then other people if we don’t need other people. That we are weak if we need help. That if we fall in line or become a part of a larger group that we may lose our ever-precious individuality. Or maybe it’s trust? Maybe we can’t trust others to help us because we are afraid we’ll get hurt or betrayed. But everyone needs help. You needed it when you were a baby. You needed it when you made dinner today. And you’ll need it tomorrow.
I was once a victim of pride. I felt that I didn’t just have the ability to do anything on my own, but that I NEEDED to in order to prove myself. To earn my existence here. And if/when I failed that it was a bad thing. That failure in independence was somehow shameful. But I learned something very powerful over the last few years as a villain.
Firstly, that failure is a beautiful thing. It teaches us everything and because of that it is, in a small way, it’s own victory. And second, that we, like all other things in the universe, need everything else to survive. To EXSIST. Everything everywhere works together in a huge machine. There is nothing shameful about being a part of a greater whole. It is, to me, an honour to be a part of everything else and to work with others. Oxygen needs to mix with nitrogen and other gasses to make our atmosphere so we can breathe. Our moon is required to create the tides. Trees are needed to recycle our air. The tilt of the earth is needed for our seasons. Friends are needed to help us when we need help. Farmers are needed to farm our food. Builders are needed to build our homes. Doctors are needed to heal us. Heroes are needed to save us.
And villains are needed to challenge our systems.