Working with other people is damned hard work. Maybe that’s why so many of us theorists and philosophers don’t really like democracy (we recoil from the Marxist dream of radical democracy and egalitarianism) and the idea of working with others. It’s tough. There are all sorts of desires at work, all sorts of commitments, all sorts of egos, competing visions, failures to communicate (“all communication is miscommunication”, it’s true), transferences, and all the rest. Occasionally you get blessed ones, Saints, that are good at pulling the cats in and recognizing the points even when they’re inartfully expressed, but still it’s so damned hard. We project things on each other. We go to war with each other. We try to dominate. We disavow democracy (“forget that, I’m leaving and taking my ball home!”). I know I keep repeating it, but it’s hard.
But there’s this other side too. It’s hard, sure (did I say that already?), but I’m so grateful to be working with others and to be working with the others with whom I work. Sometimes they drive me nuts, sometimes they make me want to pull my hair out, sometimes their idiosyncrasies and quirks drive me up the wall, but I’m so lucky to have others to work with (and I’m also referring to those of you who are kind and gracious enough to comment here on the blog). Spinoza said “nothing is more useful to man than man” as an argument for anthretity (anthro + fraternity – “frat”). Well I like the animals, plants, microbes, and nonhumans that populate my world as well, but it’s still true… All of you weird freaks (and I say that affectionately) infinitely enhance my life. Sure, you drive me nuts a lot, but you see things I don’t see and force me to grow and expand. And I get to build with you! How cool is that? The enemy is always narcissistic solipsism. I gotta remember I’m not the most brilliant or talented person in the room. There are other brilliant and talented people in the room who have done really great things. Indeed, I might not even be a brilliant and talented person at all, but just some dope lucky enough to be in the room. I might feel like you’re ripping my guts out at this moment, but as a result of this encounter– I must remind myself –I will have been spurred to create, learned, and been incited to go beyond my limited damned self. How fortunate I am. I’ve gotten to meet freaks from across the entire globe and to think and create with them. How lonely and sad I would be without my frustrations. How lonely and sad I would be without my creative and joyous collaborations. How little I would be without all of these encounters. How much less I would know if you hadn’t spurred me on to find out. How empty it would all be without these friendships.