That it is important to the future existence of the human race that we understand the importance of the individual and the reality that we are all different, all individuals all changing and all contributing to the “whole” as individuals, not as groups or products of “mass identity,” “anti-individual,” “stereotyped groups of human with the same goals, ideas and needs.”*
Being a midwife is a cooperative enterprise. When some of us are tempted to call the journey off, others are there to remind them that we are al in the process of giving birth and that birth is hard, focused work.**
Mary Ruth Broz and Barbara Flynn
In the 1970s, when Keith Haring was making his journal entry, individualism for the masses was in its infancy. I’m sure his heart would have gladdened at seeing the breakthroughs in self-determination and diversity – for race, gender and women – I wonder if he’d lament the present endangerment of the “whole.”
The individual and the “whole” need to hold each other in creative tension in the face of the twin dangers of hyper-individualism and hyper-collectivism.
The latter may be just what John O’Donohue was imagining when he wrote:
The soul is never at home in the social world that we inhabit. It is too large for our contained, managed lives.^
There is something wonderful in all of us wanting to be born, but often subsumed to the normal and expected.
Mary Ruth Broz and Barbara Flynn, write not only for women but for all of us who would be midwives to one another of what is wanting to be born.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell spoke of our need two myths or stories for our lives: a personal myth and a social myth, or, as I hold these in two questions, Who is my True Self? and What is my Contribution?