COMPOSITIVITY: the art & science of simultaneously-cooperative engagement

Solidarity is born of rebellion.

The common problems that believers and non-believers face together in politics and society — the plague of Nazism, for example — require everyone to work together. That, in and of itself, is an act of rebellion.

Taking the time to compel concurrence and harmony, rather than coerce compliance, directly defies “authority” and tradition.

Many leaders foment discord. They pander to fears to score followers, without a plan to truly create a system that includes and invokes the better angels of everyone within it.

People are controlled by the limitations they accept. Often, those come in the forms of biases and beliefs. Their views of life become narrow, almost like looking through a keyhole. Unexamined thoughts within misinformed minds lead to poor participation in our shared systems.

Life, and all the people and things that comprise it, is much more dynamic and diverse than this belief system or that set of dogma, as they are practiced now, can account for. Adherents are encouraged and rewarded for rigidity. That rigidity, while great for an individual’s eternal scorecard, doesn’t provide many practical solutions for everyone.

So, pursuing simultaneously cooperative engagement and respectful disagreement is downright revolutionary.

French philosopher Albert Camus once said, “I shall not try to change anything that I think or anything that you think …. in order to reach a reconciliation that would be agreeable to all.” Instead, he said, “the world needs real dialogue,” which is only possible between people who stay true to themselves while – TOGETHER – they do what’s never been done: get on the same side of what needs to be solved.

I call this:

Compositivity — approaching situations with the goal of inducing the good qualities of the parts involved, and including them in productive, useful, or beneficial resolutions.

We need everyone bringing their best, talking about the bigger ideas behind their subjective expressions of beliefs, ideas, and opinions… We need discussions, not shouting matches. We need problem-solving, not -creating. We’ve gotta start talking about the good things—what we consider them to be, how we achieve them, etc.

We can’t wait to be given peace, harmony, teamwork… We have to save ourselves.