Yesterday, Molly and I got to talking. Molly wears a lot of hats and one of them is bringing music to hospices. In particular, she works with elderly people to help them write songs and then these songs are performed by a choir of young people. Molly mentioned my friend Amy’s work with the choir. Molly was in a state of joy about this activity generally, but in particular about how Amy and her partner worked with the choir. Molly used the phrase “Generosity of Spirit.” This is a phrase I haven’t heard or used for some time. It is a phrase I love. Molly felt an incredible generosity of spirit coming through the choir work and in response arrived at the house with an overflow of wanting to give and support Amy and partner. We wrapped up our conversation, Molly and I, by reflecting on how one of the most underutilized resources we have is human relationship.
Actually, I wrote underutilized but that seems like the wrong word – though I’m leaving it in. I don’t like to go into the mindset of how do we use human relationships. I don’t want to use them – as though they are a mere means to an end. Or as though the idea is to step into a relationship with preconceived notions of how it is/will be. That would be a waste! Molly and I talked about human relationships in the context of imagination and creative power.
I listened to Molly say “This is one of my favorite pieces of work. I love doing this” and “Such generosity of spirit, I just want to do everything, give everything I can to support these women.” I saw her shining eyes and heard the spritely steps of joy dancing in her voice. I thought about people connected by a passion for the practice of love. Motivated by a desire to give of themselves in order to nurture well-being, they could come together and step into their individual and collective imaginations as a gateway to infinite possibility.
We’ve all heard the stories. A woman needs medical treatment for cancer and can’t afford it, the whole community pitches in and not only are her costs covered, but they’ve done it in such a way that any remaining money will be seed for an organization she will run when she recovers. The organization will focus on dance as a vehicle for healing. True story.
As Molly’s project shows, however, people collaborating to look after each other needn’t be limited to getting each other out of tight spots. Nor must it be about money. The music program Molly is doing is about creating relationships where people are bringing joy to each other across generations – young and old, a sharing of imagination and power to create and grow joy.
We have no idea what we can create together when we are led by love – the practice of indiscriminately nurturing well-being – and willingly step into imagination. Our lives are not a series of problems to be solved but a set of creative relationships to be nourished and unleashed as we step into human flourishing.
When have you experienced a collaborative relationship that felt like human flourishing? What lessons can you learn from that experience?