Teamwork

Recently, there have been a blizzard of happenings.  In each, some aspect of “Team” surfaces.

First, Ukraine isn’t mentioned below but, to be clear, what is happening now in Ukraine has to be world priority #1, and each of us is integral to this.   We cannot sit idly by.  Do something.

Second, Global Minnesota has an open to the public program on Thursday, April 7, on World Health Equity.  All information is here.  The agenda looks very interesting.  Do check it out.

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For me, for the first time in years, I prioritized Basketball – both the semis and finals of the Final Four Men’s NCAA, and the finals of the Women’s NCAA.

These were some of the basketball teams I watched: Villanova, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, UConn (Connecticut), South Carolina, St. Peter’s (Jersey City NJ), Texas Tech.  (Of course, the “Kansas” team members are not all born and raised Kansans, et al.)

I also watched part of the Oscars, a little of the Grammy’s, and heard about the successful union organizing that won employee representation at Amazon in New York, as well as settlement of a strike in Minnesota.

And on and on I could go.  As you know, lots going on.  LOTS of teams.

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Then there’s “Team USA”:  Us.  In this most recent time frame came the Senate Judiciary Committee, yesterday voting 11-11 on recommending a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.  One can legitimately wonder how in the world a country which nurtures this kind of division can thrive.  Our elected political representatives at every level are US.

Earlier this afternoon President Biden signed an Executive Order expanding the very popular yet still maligned “Obamacare”.  I watched Presidents Biden and Obama as they talked about that.  Here are the remarks as they appear on the White House website.

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We live in a Team World- I’d say it’s part of being human.  This is never perfect.  Every one of us knows from personal experience how teams work…and don’t…and why….

Winning teams aren’t divided against themselves.

Our own country – Team USA – is obviously in such a state of division at this time.  It is unhealthy for our future.

The basketball teams are obvious examples of working together.  Such teams aren’t perfect, as we can see.  Just watch the 40 minutes of any game.  Easy shots are missed.  On and on.  But generally, you see an extraordinarily well-oiled machine working together, passing, shooting, rebounding, supporting….  Like all of us, athlete personalities differ, but their skills complement each other, and they know and respect this.

Of course, all teams are  imperfect.  None of the winning NCAA teams listed above could thrive if there was only a star, or an outstanding coach, or only people who could dunk, or could shoot free throws.  Winning teams have people with varied skills.  Yes, they have egos, but in the end analysis, they blend their talents towards an ultimate objective.

The same applies to other groups.  I watched only parts of the Oscars, but I know that on the road to Best Picture, or whatever the honor, there are a huge number of people, collaborating to do the work leading to the Oscar which is given to one or more people.  Every success worth anything results because of a Team.

In our country, and in our world, disagreement is inevitable.  It is apart of the human condition.  But division is disabling if not resolved.  Resolution is a basis of relationships generally.  The assorted versions of Win/Lose are always losers for every one including the winners.

And “team” is more than just the ten players on the floor at the NCAA game.  They are everyone on the bench and in the stands.  We all have a role, and it’s not bystander.

I still think that Margaret Mead said it best: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”   We all make the difference.

POSTNOTE same day: Tonight we watched Ken Burns new film on Benjamin Franklin.  Outstanding.  Check your local PBS station.

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