In Africa, they have a saying. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
This saying has crossed my path many times but I was inspired to write about it when I heard it again last week. Researching this quote brought me to many incredible articles and blogs that spun directly off the message. Most of the articles went deep into team building; political analogies regarding government allies; and a myriad of other interesting and thought provoking topics. I am more interested in the quote and how it impacts us as individuals on a daily basis and regular activities. I have often caught myself saying, “It’s so much easier if I just do it myself.” I have witnessed young parents attempting to get their child dressed and suddenly grab the laces of the child’s shoes and say, “Here, let me help you with this, we need to hurry.” I have frequently overheard one employee say to another co-worker, “I don’t have time to teach you how to do this right now; it’s easier if I do this myself.” The more time we “waste” doing things ourselves the more quickly frustration and stress builds up in our bodies. Suddenly, thinking we have to do things on our own becomes a feeling of resentment; we feel as if we’re “always” left to do things on our own. We will travel farther on this incredible journey of life when we invest the time to do things "with" others who are traveling with us.
I remember working in this one office where I was the first person who was called upon to fix the copier when it jammed. I didn’t have the time to teach anyone else how to repair the machine; “it was easier to do it myself.” More and more jams in the copier left me feeling resentful; they were left feeling inadequate. Finally investing the time to share my knowledge on "copier jams" was a win-win for everyone. Watching the confidence grow in a child as they accept more and more responsibility leaves a parent feeling more at peace with the knowledge their child is equipped to “survive” in the real world.
Turning a simple task that you may be able to get done more quickly can turn into a wonderful memory and treasured experience if you take the time to do it together.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Thank you for going the distance with me. I look forward to your comments.