What is the Core Principle of Together We Stand?
To Gain Pleasure and Fulfillment through the Promotion and Benefit of Others.
I’m John Mears, the Executive Director of Together We Stand. I’d like to tell you my story. Several years ago I was learning under the teaching of a man that I deeply respected and honored as a wise man. He shared with me a definition of the Greek word Agape that I had never heard before:
The definition is generally thought as: “Unconditional Love” or “God’s Love.”
His definition of Agape was… “To Gain Pleasure and Fulfillment through the Promotion and Benefit of Others.”
This echoed in my head for many months. I realized that “pleasure and fulfillment” was the true goal that we all seek in life. “Pleasure” because we have a limited time on the planet and in that time we want to have fun and enjoy life. To have “fulfillment” is a state of having a full measure of everything we need to live a balanced and satisfying life. We have been taught our whole life to seek after these goals, and to chase after them with all of our strength. But “pleasure and fulfillment” is elusive. I came to understand that no matter how hard we try this can’t be obtained directly. They are a byproduct of “promoting and benefiting others.”
When we focus on our “pleasure and fulfillment,” we can never quite get a handle on them. Like a mirage, it seems to vanish just as we get closer. But we keep trying to get more, to achieve more, but no matter how we try it never seems to be enough; never quite satisfying the hunger we feel inside.
But when we direct our thoughts and action toward the “promotion and benefit of others,” then and only then, can we attain true pleasure and true fulfillment. It just happens; it is a natural effect of the process. It was so simple, but was it possible?
As I pondered this question, I thought if I could create a business plan based on that core principle I could in essence create a love powered or Agape powered enterprise. However this idea goes hard against everything I had been taught about how business is done. The old school business concepts had to be rejected for my new primary principle of “promoting and benefiting other people.”
I also came to understand that the questions I was asking were not unique to me. Many other people were asking the same questions and also shared the same problems. So instead of trying to solve my problems, I started to look at other people’s situations and asked “…How I could help them?”
This change in perspective, this paradigm of focus brought about the development of a place to teach and to share what I had found. As the concept grew it became Together We Stand.
I haven’t figured it all out yet? But many parts have been realized. I invite you to come and be a part of something bigger than yourself. Start looking at the needs around you and stop being so focused on your needs only. You might just find that your needs got worked out in the process of caring for other people’s needs. It’s strange how that happens, it just does!