We can’t do it alone

November 1, 2014

2014-10-30 07.04.50Much excitement in the Bay area as our San Francisco Giants gave us a nail-biting, Valium-swallowing final game and pulled off their third World Series win in five years. There’s no doubt that the last game and Series win can be laid at the feet of star pitcher Madison Bumgarden, an unassuming 25-year-old from North Carolina with exceptional talent and maturity. (Thank you, North Carolina, for loaning us your native son.)

But this entire team is remarkable, to a man.  Few 25-year-olds are as stable or focused or mature as, say, Buster Posey, our catcher, or Madison.  Some commentators marvel that this team’s been able to pull off these three Series wins, even in the face of impossible odds, but those of us who know the team know just how they do it:


They know they can’t do it alone. They do it together.

The San Francisco Giants know that no one player is in this alone. They know at a gut level that they depend on their teammates to do their own parts–fielding, batting, whatever–to pull in the wins–and they do it together.  Each player is very different from their teammates. Sometimes they seem like a motley crew. But it doesn’t matter. They win because–despite their differences– they get that they are interdependent and they work well together. They define the word “team.”

interdependenceInterdependence has come to mind in another context, too. I’m one of a group of people who are supporting a loved one through their cancer fight. And I don’t use the word “fight” loosely.  When you look someone’s cancer in the eye its ugliness is horrifying and the treatment isn’t much better.  There’s no way someone can get through this –or any life-threatening illness– alone.

My friend’s friends and family have banded together to help ease her path, from cooking to staying overnight to going to treatments and appointments to just plain providing laughs and comfort–this group of loving people have stepped up in a  big way. Some may not even recognized that they are symbolic of a greater truth, but it’s clear to me: they are living proof of the interdependence of humanity. Of the need to step up and do our parts, each of us, no matter how small we might think that part is.

I don’t follow sports, not really. Just the Giants. So when their win the other night brought tears to my eyes, I wondered why. And that’s when I realized that what touched me so deeply was not that the team had won, but that the team had won TOGETHER. That they know that they ARE their brothers’ keepers and they used that interdependence to pull off a big win.

So, today I’m asking, does interdependence need to be acknowledged  somewhere in your own world? Are people you know stepping up in recognition that we are all in this together? That we need one another?

I’d love to hear about it.

23 comments on “We can’t do it alone
  1. Roz Warren says:

    Love the way this starts with sports, then opens up into a much deeper piece. And since it happens to be World Vegan Day, I’ll take the opportunity to point out that if all of us work together, we can go a long way, with the choices we make, to help heal the planet. Together.

  2. Evalyn Baron says:

    Darling Carol – I cannot express how deeply this particular blog post moved me….well done.
    And I’m grateful for having read it this morning….….there is something about the way a good sports team works together that speaks to that within us that appreciates and needs our own “team” around us….and the entire concept of “winning” em-bravens us all (did I just make up a word?) to do the same in our own lives…..the only problem I have is with the idea of some other team losing….i always feel sad for them….learning how to balance winning with the idea of losing is the struggle….much to say on that topic….Sending love to you this fine morning…..

  3. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Such a great analogy, Carol. I think that “team” spirit is so powerful in life. No matter what you are doing, knowing that you have love and support can bring help you stay in the game!

  4. Kim Tackett says:

    Well, you know I love this team as well. I love that every one of them says, “We are playing for each other.” I loved Tim Hudson’s joy yesterday, when he could easily have felt that his WS outing was a disappointment. But he was excited to be there, to be part of it, and he has made such contributions to this team beyond what we saw in Game 7 on the mound. And, love, love, love Hunter, who it seems, has a special handshake for every player on the team. http://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/video-break/article2618433.html

  5. A winning way to frame a touching truth. Your friend and all her teammates are in my thoughts.

  6. Kim Tackett says:

    Carol, I commented earlier, and it didn’t show up, so feel free to delete this if that was just in moderation. You know I agree with you, and love this team. For they really do feel like a “team” in every sense of the word. And they inspire us to work for, and with, each other, rather than for ourselves. It was an unbelievable season, and a fantastic ending.

  7. Diane says:

    I am not a big sports fan at all, but it does bring a bit of awe to me how people come together for one case.I have been and still am part of an interdependent group supporting a family member(s) l fighting cancer. Every good deed even the smallest has a positive effect. To me that’s what life’s all about.

  8. Carolann says:

    My hubby is battling cancer so I know this all too well. Luckily, his blood cancer is the type that you can live with for years…I’m hoping and praying his new treatment will work. So far, his tumors have shrunk over 50% …well most of them. It’s a rough road…we pray a lot. Thanks much for this post!

  9. Nora Hall says:

    This is a beautiful piece with incredible sensitivity as well as the touch of excellent story-telling. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Carol! I’m not a sports fan either but I completely agree that we are all in this together. I’m actually quite surprised when I read or hear about others who even think they can go it alone. Not only do we need each other on a very physical level, the psychological and spiritual perspective is equally (if not more so) a necessary level of support for one another. And YES the planet needs us to. No one is irrelevant. Thanks for such a lovely way of reminding us all. ~Kathy

  11. Donna says:

    When we started our business friends came from everywhere to give us a chance. We did great work and not so great work. But without the support of all of our friends and their friends we wouldn’t still be going today. It has not been easy, and I have gone through some very difficult times..but we are still here. And it is because of the support of my friends

  12. Carol, you nailed it. Life, all life, is interdependent. Baseball is such a wonderful metaphor for life lived consciously. I’m glad I can count you as one of the nodes where the various strings of my life weave together to form a part of the interdependent net that is aware women’s writing in today’s world.

  13. As they say, there’s no “i” in “team.” Congrats on your Giants win, and I will cheer because of your enthusiasm and because we are all connected. (And because I’m not a Royals fan.)

  14. So true. We had the same experience while taking care of my husband’s grandmother during her fight with cancer. She moved in with us and for sure every single person in the family was on the same bench–all with roles to play. Great post.

  15. My husband has been a Giants fan since Willie Mays, but it’s not always easy to be a fan when you live in the Northeast! He was more than elated at the win! Hooray!

  16. Ruth Curran says:

    I just love the points you made…. You often speak of the shifts you have made with age – measured, conscious choices. Very recently, I made one these and it fits so beautifully right here. I decided that I don’t have energy for people who don’t get it that we are in this together – we are stronger as a collective. I am pruning my life’s trees and trimming the branches that held selfish people who only see life through their own lens…. A big shift in how I look at relationships so, this is learning process for me!

  17. I think the Women of Midlife fits that bill. I’d like to see it in other places too.

  18. Very well said, Carol. I’m so glad you’re a Giants fan like me.

  19. Pat says:

    Amen to teamwork AND not only on the playing fields! Great post, Carol.

  20. Haralee says:

    I like your word, interdependence work better than team work. Yes team work works and there is no’I’ in Team but there is an ‘I’ to make a decision to work together to work with interdependence.

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