…”You-AND-Me” versus “You-OR-Me”…

“Out beyond ideas of right and wrong doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” — Rumi

What a difference one little word makes! 

The difference between “and”/”or” is the difference between prosperity thinking and poverty thinking.  It is the difference between seeing scarcity and lack OR abundance and plenty.

The idea of a “You-AND-Me” world is collaboration and partnership.  From the “You-AND-Me” perspective, all of our diverging dreams collaborate and click.  An expanding sense of connection,  spaciousness, equality, and inclusion is created — and all of that — is the result of how we come together — without rancor, shame, or blame.

And, for many, the “You-AND-Me” world that I’m describing is “hit or miss.”  There is a persistent and begrudging belief that “You-AND-Me” can never really work — not if what I want fails to met the expectation of what you want.  

Diverging interests make collaboration and partnership impossible.  Diverging interests are the dividing lines which separate “You-AND-Me” from “You-OR-Me.”

And diverging interests have very little to do with diverging dreams.

Yesterday, I wrote about singing, dancing, and clapping — about holding commitments with no expectation of anything in return.  Many people say, “that’s fine for singing, dancing, and clapping, but for anything other than “play,” it’s simply unrealistic. It’s not the way the world works.”

But reciprocity and personal interest aren’t the only things at stake! Empathy, Integrity, and Intentionality are at stake also.

To inhabit a “You-AND-Me” world, one must stretch the understanding of reciprocity so it includes more than the direct interests of just one person. 

Think about it:  Reciprocity is a role which we adopt JUST to be sure that we are individually “well-cared for” – our egos want to know that we are seen and recognized by our environment.  

But every reciprocal role requires interpretation.  How empathetic are we choosing to be?  What does integrity tell us?  Can we be big enough to intend something unexpected and different?   

You see, what we are invited to do — reciprocally — is to move into a state of openness and freedom or into a state of resistance and withdrawal.  We are always free to either honor or ignore the invitation that is set up by the roles we inhabit. 

That’s where we decide which type of world we want to inhabit.

And if we are REALLY being honest – the accountability that we associate with reciprocity is our willingness to care for the well-being of the whole – not simply ourselves.  Commitment is a willingness to make a promise with no expectation of return, because the well-being of the whole is our primary concern

Empathy, Integrity, and Intentionality come WAY before any contemplation of “what’s in it for me?” and we often fail to realize that.  Empathy, Integrity, and  Intentionality become handmaidens to the ego if we focus too heavily on ourselves.

If being “well-cared for” feels more important than standing with others in a space of “well-being,” what does that say about us?  About our presence in the world?   

It’s really not all that different from singing, dancing, and clapping.  Empathy, Integrity, and  Intentionality express what we are capable of, what we can create together.  And who we are together is always greater than who we are alone.

Rumi wrote:  “Out beyond ideas of right and wrong doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”

Transcending our diverging interests allows us to discover that field.  And there — in that field — we are always singing, dancing, and clapping. 

Thanks for listening!


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