Blog Action Day 2012 – The Power of We

Blog Action Day - The Power of WeI have been thinking about what to write for this posts for a few weeks now, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. I keep coming back to a sentence in my head that has become a mantra that circulates through my brain every time I try to write this post. So you know what? I am just going to go with it.

In order to have the Power of We you need the Power of Me.

“We” whether it is two people or ten is made up of individuals, and maybe it is the macro lens I use to filter the world, but I think the strength of a couple or a group is only as strong as its individual members.

Blog Action Day 2012 The Power of We

I think it is important to take care of yourself, love yourself, have confidence in yourself before you can contribute to a “we.” Once you achieve that then interactions with others becomes cyclical, by contributing to a “we” you get back what you put in, it is like a rechargeable battery of sorts.

I am not writing this to say “be selfish,” I am saying that you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else. It is simple, but very often overlooked. People seek comfort in others to fill a gap that can never be filled by someone else or something else, like food or shopping, or whatever.

That is not to say that others can’t fill needs, compensate for weaknesses in certain areas, etc. But you need to come to the table with something, so that your seat at the table makes up part of the courses that create a meal.

If everyone took care to ensure that they loved themselves, that would be a mighty powerful force to help change the world.

In order to have the Power of We you need the Power of Me.

This post is my contribution as part of Blog Action Day. Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included water, climate change, poverty and food with thousands of blogs, big and small, taking part. The theme this year is the Power of We. #PowerOfWe #BAD12 #Blogactionday

Comments

  1. Hi Andi!
    The same exact thought rolled around in my head in the weeks leading you to this fun day. Knowing who you are and you would like to contribute the We is essential. One needs to be able to feel like their part of the We makes a difference and that comes first from knowing yourself and what you are bring to the table. Not all We’s are a perfect fit and to find the right groups, you first need to know yourself. Love it! Thank you!

  2. In other words, there’s a reason why parents should put the mask on themselves first before putting it on the kids. :-) Good point though, if you can’t help yourself you won’t be all that much good to anyone else. I like this contribution.

    • @Mitch, very well put. I think that parents of daughters should ensure that they reinforce this message as their child grows up, it seems to impact women more than men.

  3. Hi, Andi! Loved this thought! It is so very true that first of all we should know who we are and what we want, and really love ourselves. Only based on that we would be able to release the Power of We!

    • @Olena, thanks for stopping by and commenting (I updated your url in the comment). I went and read your post – fantastic post in English!

  4. Dear Andi,
    I hardly have words to say how I strongly align, and for so long, to what you just said here. So yes, not loving yourself you can’t love anybody, and not making yourself rich of something you can’t give anything to anyone. To make you see how I deeply advocate these facts which apply to every human relations, I can’t resist to give you this excerpt of my Afterword in “Being French!”, where I entice my readers to take care of their own well being (sensually, in my book) before they are able to give love and caring around them:

    “ … But there’s another kind of guiltiness, maybe more vague, yet still weighing on a free and happy sensuality. And this would be the feeling of being selfish in authorizing oneself to live as a sensual being. How many times have you heard someone say, perhaps even yourself, “I’d like to live that, but what would my parents, my children, my friends, or even my colleagues think? And how can I deprive them of the time I would spend indulging my own pleasure?” Some others will think it incompatible with their careers, finding so many reasons to be on duty and not to live a sensual life, to which you can add the love of peace and the desire to avoid anything potentially disturbing.
    Now to those feeling that kind of guilt I would say: Okay you’re telling me of close relations to whom you feel you owe so much, and you’re assuming that entering a rich sensual life, consuming your time and holding your attention, would surely bereft them of a significant part of you. And I’ll quickly say: Yes, up to a point, it’s true! But on the other hand, consider this: What do you want to give to those close and precious ones all along your way? Life is like a sea where you sail your galleon on a long voyage. Are you going to leave the hold empty? Then what will you have to deliver to your loved ones? Don’t you have to make yourself rich with something before you’re able to give anything back to anyone else? Looking for a case at hand, I feel like saying: What do you think made me able to give the few insights I had to deliver within this book? I gathered them in life experiences, living them intensely, and going through all the different emotions that came with the thrilling adventure of it all.”

    • @François, thanks so much for sharing the excerpt. I definitely need to read more of Being French! It is true that people question “what will others think” but you have to stand on your own two feet sometimes and decide that you don’t care. When I think of how often I am questioned about my choice not to have children, I sometimes become annoyed….I have gone against cultural norms to be child-free and to be happy about it! I saw on the French news last night that Germany is worried about the number of couple choosing not to have children, they are not sure who will fill future roles (doctors, teachers, etc), while that is interesting, I thought how the story was framed was annoying, that the child-free couples should feel guilty that they are bringing this problem onto the German society…it should be left up to the individual to decide what is right for them (within reasonable boundaries…murder, rape, etc)!

  5. Of course it is for the individuyal to decide Andi, only dictatures do otherwise. But I think that the issue of replacing generations or not is way beyond what we can embrace in our own dimension of space and time. In his excellent film “The decline of the American Empire” Canadian director Denys Arcand makes a parallel between what happened with Roman Empire, and what happen now with the Western World (which USA is just the most advanced part). What is said is that past a certain amount of power and wealth the people of any empire will go and search individual satisfaction and happiness, and doing so, they cease to replace their generations. No good or bad in this behavior but the result is that quite rapidly at historic scale the corresponding civilizations just disappear.
    But look at what happens in China today. Very concerning as well since the law only authorize one child per family. And since people always prefer to have a son the result is that in China men are in the process of getting short of girls to marry. Strange world isn’t it?

  6. I missed Blog Action Day. Bummer. I have always struggled with the notion of self-love, but I know you’re right, Andi. I believe every word you wrote.

    • @Jen, I doubt know how I manage to remember, I think I am on an email list. I missed 2010, but did it 2009, 2011 and this year!

  7. Jennifer Boehme says:

    I forget this sometimes. I wish I seen this earlier this year, it’s a good reminder. I forget about me and always worry about others. I can accomplish more if I would remember this more.

  8. Michelle.A. says:

    Thanks for writing this. I definitely agree and needed the reminder.

  9. My friends and I were just talking about this! As moms, we tend to put everyone else ahead of ourselves. I sometimes feel guilty if I take time for me. As you said though, we need to take care of and love ourselves if we are to be any good to anyone else. I know when I’m stressed or upset, my kids and spouse sometimes pay the price. I’m able to give so much more when I take time to recharge. We need to stop feeling guilty about it.

  10. What a powerful thought and view. I completely agree. I am learning this lesson a tad bit later than I should have. Always so worried about doing for others and pleasing everyone, I let myself slip a long time ago. Now it is going to be a hard trek to get myself back, but I feel it is important as well and not selfish. It is probably even more selfish to rely on others to complete you. Thank you for the post!

  11. That has been a very prominent theme for me.. It goes right along with “You can’t fill another’s cup from an empty well.” If you don’t have you… you have nothing to offer to a “we”. I think that is the case in marriage, joint ventures… you name it. This is a great reminder though, and I am glad I am not alone in feeling this way!

  12. This is such a powerful post, and I agree that you have to take care of yourself first. I am a mom of 2 who runs a home business, and I have a hard time reminding myself that it is OK to put myself first sometimes, because you can’t give what you don’t have. Thank you for the reminder!

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