“All for one and one for all” is the ethic of the three musketeers, made popular in Alexander Dumas’ classic book, The Three Musketeers. I like to call this motto the Heart’s Guiding Principle. I’ve found that this motto holds true for any cohesive group who works exceptionally well together. When everyone keeps in mind the best interests of each individual along with the good of everyone, you have a foolproof ethic to work together in a way that will support the highest overall potential. This Heart’s Guiding Principle rests at the very core of the Heart-Centered Operating System (HSOC), a system specifically designed to put heart at the center of your company and all of humanity.
Working for the Good of All
If each one of us truly works for the good of all, we are working on behalf of all humanity and all life. The significance of our actions go far beyond ourselves or our specific group. If we could all do just one thing consistently, embodying this principle would make everything else in life fall into place. Dedication to the good of all is the bodhisattva way – the path that many saints and sages of the past and present have guided toward.
I refer to working for the good of all as the Heart’s Guiding Principle because it is truly the way of the heart. The heart is the organ that unifies the entire body by pumping out and receiving in blood in an endless cycle of give and take. The heart touches each and every part of the body; the heart truly works for the good of all and fundamentally incorporates this principle and ethic in everything it does. Biologically, the heart desires that each individual part lives out its greatest potential on behalf of the whole. As a result of the heart’s profound role within our individual biology, the energetic significance of the heart has been explored and preached since the dawn of humanity. Search your heart deeply, and you will find the desire to serve the good of everyone. This is what love wants. When we commit to working for the good of the whole, this is the very heart of eternal love.
Working for the Good of Each One
Every person matters, just as every drop of ocean water matters. Without this very drop, the ocean would not be the same ocean. Have you ever noticed how one person coming or not coming to an event completely changes the dynamic? Each person is a unique individual and also an integral part of the human race.
In a healthy and heart-centered company, the company serves each person’s best interest as long as the individual upholds the values of the company. There is a circle of beneficial reciprocity built into each business’s Heart-Centered Operating System (HCOS). If an individual is struggling to uphold the values of the company, the company will likely cave into a form of enmeshment where the group martyrs itself for the individual. This is not healthy. A healthy group works for its own and everyone’s potential at the same time. The group does not sacrifice itself for one member.
One For All and All For One
As I’ve looked more deeply into the origins of this famous quote, I discovered that “all for one and one for all” originates in Shakespeare’s poem, The Rape of Lucrece. He used it in the reverse order, “one for all or all for one we gage.” Here is the full phrase.
The aim of all is but to nurse the life
With honor, wealth, and ease, in waning age;
And in this aim there is such thwarting strife,
That one for all, or all for one we gage;
As life for honor in fell battle’s rage;
Honor for wealth; and oft that wealth doth cost
The death of all, and all together lost.
Shakespeare uses these lines to encapsulate the meaning of life and show that taking this kind of stand for one’s values can be like waging a war for the soul. To truly dive into all that Shakespeare is saying would require a closer reading, and analysis than we have space for in this article.
The ethic of “one for all and all for one” works best as the Heart’s Guiding Principle when phrased as Shakespeare wrote it. When the individual works for the good of the whole, it is necessary for the whole to work on behalf of the good of the individual. If an individual is lost in selfishness, it’s hard for the group to work for their selfishness. But when the individual is in faithful service to the whole, then it’s very easy to work for their good and embody the “all for one” ethic where the whole looks after the faithful one.
Practice this Heart’s Guiding Principle in your life and work. As an individual, focus on the good of the whole. As a group, dedicate your efforts to work for the good of the faithful individual. Notice how it changes your work culture and everything you do.
There are more articles on HCOS (Heart-Centered Operating System) here. For more information about HCOS and how to get consulting on it for your business click here.
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