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Take Care of Each Other

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Take Care of Each Other

…So says science!
Tim van der Vliet
Tim van der Vliet More by this author
Sep 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Hi, I’m Tim and I'm here to spread a little Zen from Amsterdam, a bit of tolerance. As most of us know, taking care of each other makes the world a better place. But did you know that math and sports support us in this vision? And that doing what you like most, or having fun is actually the biggest contribution you can make to the planet? Let me explain!

A football team (or any other sports team) consists of individuals. If these individuals have too much ego, if they don't play together, the team will never win. But if the team players play together, a match is won. Playing together is what we, humans, are really good at.

I am very much inspired by John Forbes Nash (1928 – still alive), a mathematician whose life is portrayed in the film A Beautiful Mind (2001). In my case, writing books about spirituality, it would be very easy to quote some spiritual author. But my hero is the scientist John Nash. Nash makes me very happy. Using math, he came to the very spiritual conclusion that decisions based solely on our individuality, or ego, are not optimal. Here is a very short fragment from the film. Click here.

This is where Nash gets the insight that if we incorporate the group’s needs, we make optimal decisions.

Nash concludes: If we take both our individual needs as well as the group's needs into account we make optimal decisions for both our individual and the group we are part of. Isn't this an interesting conclusion from a beta guy? If we serve the group we create a better situation for ourselves, mathematically proven!

So serving the group is good for our individualistic selves. Serving the group is crucial in a country like Japan. I have a very strong connection with Japan because my wife is Japanese, and so are my four children. In Japan, children are raised to fit within the collective. On the contrary, in the West, or at least in Amsterdam, children are raised to stand out, to be different and original.

That's interesting. We in the Netherlands get an individual upbringing whereas in Japan people are brought up to put the collective first. Both societies have a different basis for upbringing and can therefore learn from each other. In the West we could think a bit more about the group we are living in. In Japan some people could be a bit more egoistic so they learn what they like in life more.

About Author
Tim van der Vliet
Tim van der Vliet is the Amsterdam-based Hay House author of Spiritual Awakening (The Easy Way), a strongly visual design-led book in which the concept of spirituality is turned on its head with powerful, surprising, and often humorous in Continue reading