Community without YMM is a bad anagram

There’s a subtle difference between unity and collaboration. To work as a unit, the united individuals work as one; all are pieces of a greater whole. Collaboration, while seemingly the same as unity, is about different individuals working together.

Subtle, I know.

Great Show, go watch it.

Great Show, go watch it.

Of course, this may just be semantics but the point I am making is about community. We are strongest when we stand united but that does not mean we have to necessarily agree with each other’s opinions or collaborate all the time.

The phrase “butt-hurt” gets thrown out a lot these days. If you look it up on urban dictionary, it pretty much sums up what happens when collaboration doesn’t work out.

It's a thing, look it up

It’s a thing, look it up

We’re all human, we all experience it. It comes from being the last kid selected during gym class or not being invited to a birthday party. We can’t help but take it personally, I know I do. When something negative happens to us, we can’t help but feel the action was malicious. As time passes you gain a perspective that you may not have had before and realize that it’s not always about you.

It’s what has allowed me to work with and even become friends with so many talented people, sometimes in the opposite order. The collaborations are not about just me, or them, it’s about working together. The result is something new and unique with elements from every one of us. It inspires unity.

There’s a saying I have always disliked “If you’re not with me, you’re against me.” It’s such a definitive and cornering statement. It’s elitist.

Over the last three years, the YMM Podcast has worked as a unit. We started as two guys who collaborated few times, and through those collaborations we realized that together, we complimented each other’s strengths and became a cohesive unit. We’re now a team of four very different but unified people.

**Plus Misty Oakes, if you include the YMMFMA, she’s a pretty amazing gal! Go see her in Les Miserables this February**

We don’t always agree on everything, and we’ve often argued tooth and nail about more than a few things; but we always keep it civil and we act as a unified team because we respect one another. That respect has helped us keep communicating and move through challenges. We’ve learned and grown from our collaborations as well. The people we were in 2010 are not who we are in 2013, and I like to think that never ends. We are always growing.

The same applies to Fort McMurray. Our community is always changing and always growing. We are at our strongest when the community is united. There are many good people in this city all wishing to do great things for the community. It can be hard to get a group on the same page when Fort McMurray itself is in constant change but it doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try.

I often see posts along the lines of “Why don’t we have this” or “When will we have that”

They are reasonable statements and it’s always easier to criticize than take action but change cannot happen without action. So at the end of the day, ask yourself:

“What have I done to contribute?” It may give perspective on other points of view.

The reason Fort McMurray is in constant change is because we are a community that takes action. Suffice to say, there are many collaborations within our community on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. They don’t always work out but that doesn’t mean we can’t stand unified in our progress.

I have had the privilege of knowing many talented people within our community and regardless of whether I share their views or goals; I wish them well in all their efforts to better our community. We’re all in this together, and though we may not like every person we meet or share their ideas, we all want to make Fort McMurray a better place. That’s why the YMM Podcast exists.

We are all connected, for better or worse.

We are all connected, for better or worse.

Here’s to year three.

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