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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An Analogy of Today’s Individual

An Individual’s ability to make their own decisions rests on their social existence. Their upbringing, their life experiences, those surrounding them, etc. A good analogy for this is to think of American football. Take one great player on a team full of average players. No I am not going to talk about how the team is only as good as its weakest link, or one great player doesn’t make a team – though this concept of team is important to keep in mind. The thing that I want to elucidate is that this one player may be great or may not be great depending upon their utilization within the ‘system’. If the ‘system’ was of no importance, then why would there be offensive and defensive playbooks or coaches? It is the system that can bring a player’s skills to light. A good receiver on a team that runs the ball 75% of the time may never be seen as a great player unless the offensive system accentuates that individual’s skill set – thus they are beholden to the system they play in. Its easy to say in football that they can go play for another team, yet in the team game that is life, we can’t just decide to go play somewhere else, we are in this game and this offensive system whether we like it or not.

The problem that we face today is that the social system we are in produces societal ‘players’ solely focused on themselves. We are taught about individual freedoms, personal choice, individual rights, private property, etc. All of these are valuable and admirable things, but on the whole, self-based motives and actions – Me. Mine. Ours.

So how does a self-obsessed player like this translate to the analogous football field? They are the ‘pre-madonna’ wide receivers that whine when they don’t ‘get the damn ball’. We all know them and we love watching them make plays, but then chastise them for what they say and do otherwise. Imagine a football team with nothing but flashy pre-madonna wide receivers at every position? That is what our world is turning into. Some of us have been on those teams, even been those players, but that is not what makes successful team chemistry. Why then should we pretend that what doesn’t work in the most obvious team sports we’ve seen will work in the largest and most indefinable team sport we play – life?

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