Collaboration, as simple as it may seem to be, is critical in the journey to create positive social change in one’s community. One driving force isn’t enough to do it alone. Golda Meir, first female prime minister of Isreal, once said that,
“I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively.”
What did Prime Minister Meir mean by this? Yes, she was a very strong leader; however, she didn’t rise to the top alone. She grew in leadership and strived for greatness, and she did so by gaining supporters and influenced generations of people to work together for a common good.
A shining example of collaboration happened today actually. Publix employees from around the Central Florida community (through Heart of Florida United Way) came to The Mustard Seed to volunteer their time. In the relatively short amount of time, these 24 individuals worked together to complete long overdue projects around our warehouse. They worked tirelessly to rearrange furniture, lift heavy objects, clean and sweep our large yard, put together bed rails and dish packs, deconstruct mattresses, and more to get their assigned tasks done… All without expecting anything tangible in return but receiving the gratification they create themselves.
How is Mustard Seed collaborating with individuals in the community, as well as partnering agencies, to make sure that we are making our goals and mission a reality? Collaboration begins when 2 or more parties come together to achieve not only their individual goals, but their groups’ goals as well. Publix came to the Mustard Seed to give back to their community, and we accepted their help in order to better serve our clients. Together, we shared the value of experience while engaging in public service. By taking a synergistic approach, we are working to get things done faster and more efficiently. By doing so, we save time, energy, and vital physical space in our warehouse to store more furnishings for our clients to choose from.
In my Public Allies interviews, I stated countless times that among the 5 core values, collaboration is the one that most strongly resonates within me. I’ve seen the power of collaboration with my own eyes – from confronting a bully in high school to changing political policies in a community. I believe that working together is by far the most influential and driving force there is, and that one collective voice speaks louder than a single whisper.
With you as a reader, I’d like to hear your thoughts on collaboration. How do you collaborate to create a synergistic approach in your work tasks, or even your personal life? What can be done differently in our community to foster collaboration? Are we doing and working enough together to combat social injustices?
Thanks for reading, and I hope to read your comments!