What is the core principle of TWS?
To gain pleasure and fulfillment from the promotion and benefit of others.
My name is John Mears. I am the Executive Director of Together We Stand.
Several years ago I was sitting under the teaching of a man that I deeply respected and honored as a wise man. He shared with me the definition of the Greek word “Agape”. The definition of the word is generally presented as: “unconditional love” or “God’s love”. The definition he shared with me I had never heard before, or since for that matter. What he said was: “Agape: To gain pleasure and fulfillment from 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, to chase after them with all of our energy. But still they have eluded us. I came to understand that no matter how hard we try they cannot be attained directly. They are a by-product of the function of “promoting and benefiting others”. When we focus on our pleasure and our fulfillment we can never quite get a handle on them. They seem to vanish just as we draw near like an unattainable mirage. So we keep trying to get more, to achieve more, but no matter how we try it is 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 enterprise. This however went dead against everything I had been taught about how business was done. Every goal, every strategy had to be ignored except the primary function 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 situation and ask how I could help them. This change in perspective, this paradigm shift of focus brought about the development of a place to teach and to share what I had found. As the concept grew it became TWS. Have I figured it all out yet? Nope, not fully but in part…maybe. 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 out that while you were caring for other people’s needs yours somehow just got worked out in the process. It’s funny how that works out, but it does.