Working for Sibi

             Success. The word takes on many different meanings for different people. Personally, I am still in the midst of figuring out what it means to be successful in life. What skills make an individual successful? In American society, success is often attributed with wealth. In the field of education, success is measured by tests and grades. To be successful within these parameters one must be intelligent, resourceful, and driven. Collaboration, however, is a skill that I believe is truly undervalued in society.

            Though I am partially a critic of the status quo, I must admit that I am heavily influenced by our society's standards for success. Teamwork can be inefficient and frustrating at times. It often leads to disagreements and slow decision making. After working on a group project in the NGO Akanksha for the past few days, I have realized  that collaboration has not been a particularly integral part of my education thus far. Instead, I feel as though the spirit of competition has superseded the ideals of teamwork. In the parlance of contemporary America, the ideals of freedom and independence are thought to be dependent on one another. It is almost as if collaboration detracts from personal achievement. The Akanksha project swayed many of my personal stigmas against collaboration. Upon completing the project, I felt a sense of achievement beyond myself. Because we worked, worried, and stressed together, we also succeeded together.