By: Robert J. Tamasy
合作能給予彼此所需的支持。我們彼此需要。孤立和堅持獨立作業最終只會帶來失望和動機的消失。「又要彼此相顧，激發愛心，勉勵行善。 你們不可停止聚會，好像那些停止慣了的人，倒要彼此勸勉，既知道（ – 原文是看見）那日子臨近，就更當如此。」(希伯來書10章24-25節)
你是否親眼看過紅杉樹？或者讀過關於這種樹獨特的成長和長壽的秘訣呢？分享你的意見。 你是否能夠從自己的經驗裡，舉一個例子來說明「彼此合作」的重要？請分享當時的情況和結果。 有沒有哪一種情況是比較適合獨立作業而非團體合作的？在什麼狀況之下為什麼需要如此做？分享你一下你的意見。 你覺得和人同工來達成目標，如何能加強一個人的動機、激勵這個人和增添他的力量？請舉例分享。若你想看或討論聖經對此主題的其他部份，請看以下經文：箴言11章14節、15章22節、20章18節、27章17節；馬可福音6章7-13節；路加福音10章1-7節
ROOTED TOGETHER FOR STRENGTH
By Robert J. Tamasy
I have never seen firsthand the huge sequoia trees, also known as California redwoods, which grow in the western United States. However, I recently learned about a characteristic of these trees that contributes not only to their incredible height but also to their extraordinary longevity.
These trees have been known to grow well over 300 feet tall (not including their root system), up to 26 feet in diameter, and many have lived well beyond 1,000 years. To what do scientists attribute their amazing size, durability and lifespan? One of the most important factors, I discovered, is their root system. Sequoia trees intertwine their roots with other sequoias, enabling them to share strength and resources necessary for their growth and health. They are better equipped for enduring adversity as well.
What if we were to function more like sequoias in the business and professional world? There is a tendency to emphasize independence and individual achievement. We hear about the “rising star” in the office or company, the person that stands out for exceptional performance. There is nothing wrong with recognizing those that stand out, but a reality in nature and everyday life is in virtually every instance, we can accomplish more together than we can in operating by ourselves.
Despite mantras such as “it is all about me” and “I did it my way,” there is something very gratifying and rewarding about working together as a team, complementing one another with our respective strengths and abilities, and offsetting our weaknesses. Every visionary leader needs good administrative and clerical people to accomplish their objectives. Idea people need skilled communicators to convey their ideas effectively. Accomplished sales people would be of no value without the capable staff poised to make the products they sell.
The Bible emphasizes this principle of pooling resources and mutual strength for a greater outcome. Here is a sampling of what it says about working together for the common good, much as huge sequoias merge their root systems to maximize their growth:
Joining together to provide needed support. We need each other. Isolation and insistence on operating independently can ultimately lead to discouragement and lack of motivation. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Sharing resources for mutual benefit. In a competitive world we are tempted to seek our own advantage, at times at the expense of others. But short-term gains can result in long-term losses. Working together, sharing assets and strengths, can lead to substantially greater benefits for all. “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).
Teaming up to achieve greater results. There is much to be said about the synergy of people working in concert, united around a common sense of mission, vision and values. They can accomplish great things together that they could only dream about independently. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up?… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Have you ever personally seen sequoia trees or studied characteristics of their unique growth and longevity? What do you know about them? Can you think of a time or situation in which the principle of being “rooted together” was clearly demonstrated in a project you were involved with at work? Describe the circumstances and the outcome. When might it be better to insist on working independently, rather than as part of a team? Do you think the desire for personal gain and benefits could justify that approach at times? Why or why not? How can working with others toward achieving a common mission enhance personal motivation, inspiration and strength? Give any examples that come to your mind.If you would like to look at or discuss other portions from the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 20:18, 27:17; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 10:1-7