It’s not often I get a song stuck in my head, but I have Lorde to thank for the following line that keeps following me around lately:
“And you know, we’re on each other’s team.”
We’re on each other’s team.
While simple at face value, in my mind this goes little deeper than it first appears … is there only one team, or multiple teams we’re all on… or both?
As human beings, we love to form teams, groups and organizations, and it’s easy to see why. Together, a team can often accomplish things impossible for the individual. Teammates support and learn from one another. Collectively, the variety of individual strengths make up for individual weaknesses. Plus, it’s often just more fun to do things together.
We also have an innate ability to organize ourselves by commonality. This can prove healthy but often gets us into trouble, when it gets to the point where we’re surrounded by people just like us. It doesn’t matter what “us” happens to be, but inevitably there becomes a “them” who are not like “us.” If we never meet or associate with “them,” the “other,” we often don’t know much about them. This ignorance can lead to mistrust, fear, anger and even hate.
And as a wise soul used to say, hate leads to suffering.
But this isn’t the way it has to be. Jesus, for instance, begged to differ.
On this MLK Day, I draw encouragement from our expanding sense of community, represented by the thousands of volunteer teams of many different backgrounds who’ve come together as Team Camp Restore over the past eight years, but going far beyond New Orleans as American and World citizens who are seeking to care for and love their neighbors, everywhere.
After all, we’re on each other’s team.
[Fun note: In Lorde’s Facebook intro of Team, she describes “i dreamt about this world being so different to anything anyone had ever seen, a dark world full of tropical plants and ruins and sweat. and of this world, i dreamt about tests that didn’t need to be passed in order to be allowed in. sometimes the person who loses is stronger.” Hmm – almost sounds a little like NOLA, right? :)]