What’s in it for Us

Day 113 Week 17 Q2 Monday, April 24, 2023

Pirates Mirada Live

Perhaps you have noticed there has been a lot of polarization lately. It can be summed up as people asking themselves, “What’s in it for Me?” Any outlier, creative or otherwise, tends to be different than the majority. Along with that can come a kind of insulation against external opinion.  Creative outliers naturally have this to an unusual degree because even though all children are creative outliers, they usually no longer are by the time the individual reaches middle age. This is due to the act of socialization. 

Socialization usually happens as we grow into adulthood and become increasingly like everyone else. Creative outliers often resist this conformity to the unusual degree in that when they reach middle age, they still do not feel like everyone else and still do not have the same priories and proclivities and the “norm.”  Suggestions involving change usually receive negative feedback, which is a strong mechanism to bring people in line with each other. Conformity can be insidious. 

However, success in the broader outside world requires us to ask the question, “What’s in it for Us?” If we do not, we may not have customers, clients or even friends. In short, the sustainability of not only innovators, artists and other creative outliers requires one to put oneself in the place of another person, not just yourself. This is a good practice for highly individualistic creative types and humanity at large. If we do not begin to be concerned about .each other, we may perish as a species.

Climate change is a natural phenomenon, and whether or not people caused it is irrelevant. We can not negotiate with nature but have to capitulate to it or change our ways, and to do so; we have to reduce our current polarization. Like it or not, in the 21st century, collaboration has been forced upon us. If everyone continues to assume they are independent of each other and only ask the question, What is in it for me? humanity will likely not make it in the long run.

This is not a call to be an environmentalist; it is a call to admit we depend upon each other and therefore have to ask the question, “What is in it for us? Polarization is not so good for survival. Not for the survival of an artist, politician, or businessperson. As an entrepreneur, I am certainly as much a capitalist as everyone else, and yes, this promotes competition. However, changing one single word in the dominant philosophy gripping all insecure fearful polarized people could change everything. And things will not go well for us until we change that single word from ME to US.

As a creative outlier, collaboration may not seem a natural act. As we mature and hopefully become more secure, we realize the benefits of working with others. Unless you restrict yourself to one-person-size dreams, you do have to have stakeholders. World leaders and business leaders also need to have stakeholders. The answer, although difficult, is simple. Collaborate or Die. Change one word and ask What’s in it for us?