It takes enormous courage to approach living from a you and me context.  It is audacious to create your life making a difference in a world that says that you don’t.  It takes a lot of heart – openness to your own magnanimity, compassion for yourself, for your own pettiness when it shows itself.  Even in the face of failure, Werner noted, “you need to be willing to accept yourself as an evolving master in the issue of making the world work for everyone, and to hold the failures, doubts, fears, and uncertainties within the context that you are evolving in mastery.”

Sometime around now – it may have happened five years ago or fifty years ago – but sometime around now the rules for living successfully on ths planet shifted.  We can no longer hope to live meaningful, purposeful lives using the rules of a you or me world. It’s becoming clearer and clearer to those who will look that in order to live successfully on this planet, we must discover and live by the rules of you and me.”

We are not speaking of altruism.  In a you and me world, when you are successful, whole, validated, and fulfilled, I win.  What is the meaning of concepts such as selfishness and altruism when you experience the Self as all things – as the space in which all things occur?”

In the past, we have maintained a you or me world by sharing our surplus rather than by sharing the ability to produce surplus.  That kind of altruism, those “gestures of goodwill” have only served to strengthen the status quo and perpetuate a world of “haves” and “have-nots.”  In a you and me world, true generosity means empowering people to produce for themselves.

Werner Erhard – A Shot Heard Round The World