Practice #12: Kumbaya

Hands of the world. (n.d.) smray. Source:

Hands of the world. (n.d.) smray. Source:

Zanders’ advice for helping us achive the possible is bookended by this final thought: Why have enemies? Be a “WE” as they phrase it. Don’t be a “you and I” be a “WE.” They go from the macro to the micro and back in a few pages. Israel and Palestine. USA vs. the Terrorists. You and your spouse. Your child and you. Your employer and you. Nelson Mandela and his Truth and Reconcilliation Commision are offered to the reader as a perfect example of the “WE” mindset. Is life really about justice? Is it really about revenge? Retribution? Or, is life about LIVING? Mandela realized that what South Africa needed the most was to get on with the living as a nation, as a “WE.” I don’t believe that Mandela thought justice unnecessary, or sub-human. I believe that he was smart enough to realize that the kind of “justice” that would occur would only be a setback to his long term vision for South Africa.

The Zanders’ obviously yearn for a world in which we can all live with the “WE” mindset, and it is a goal I believe is worth trying to achieve. That being said, I marvel at the way we try to achieve it. I’ve alluded to this in previous post, but I’ll say it again: We will never have world peace if we aren’t at peace with the person sleeping next to us at night. We can’t achieve world peace if we can’t put aside our differences with our mother or father, brother or sister, neighbor or co-worker. Peace has to start on a local scale. Like really local, like inside of yourself. I know (and am related to) people that aren’t even at peace with themselves. How can we expect to accomplish peace on such a grand scale with division in our own families, neighborhoods, and communities? It reminds me of a motto about winning that our wrestling team had when I was a freshman: “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Substitute the word “WE” for “me” and you’ll be close to what the Zanders are getting at.


Zander, R. & Zander, B. (2002). The art of possibility: Transforming professional and personal life. New York: Penguin Books.


One Response

  1. kumbaya, indeed. I note in your survey so far that either only single people are responding, or that the married ones feel that they are in complete harmony with their spouses. Amazing. It’s been fun.

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