There is something about being part of a team that makes it a uniquely demanding and often gratifying experience. While I’m not referring specifically to sports teams, they may and often do share some of the qualities that non-athletic teams derive from group experiences.

From the top, I’m not referring to all of the “Hoorah” or knuckle-bumping that you may associate with many collaborations. It’s not about paying dues, wearing the right hoodie or doing the team mantra. More importantly, it’s about being with and around people who care about your success and personal growth.

This all occurs to me as one who has recently rejoined a business organization. The experience of doing so has been quite a surprise. People whom I had forgotten were remembering me. Those whom I had not met were interested in knowing more about me and what goes on in my brain.

Clearly, none of that puts money in the bank, cleans my garage or gets me better gas mileage. But I’m beginning to believe that folks of all flavors are enriched by belonging to something. It creates camaraderie, stimulating human interaction and often, the sense of community predicated on shared priorities.

For those who seek becoming enhanced by the emotional or psychological benefits of being part of an association, do whatever is necessary to move forward. The only true requirement is that you believe in the philosophy or objectives of that collection of participants.

Tutor some kids. Teach financial literacy to elementary school youngsters. Spend some time serving meals at a homeless shelter. Work for your political party. Dedicate volunteer hours to a local nursing home. These have all been in my past and provided more gratification than any paycheck. No matter what you choose to do, the process of proceeding toward something with others will be worthwhile. Your presence will inevitably and definitively improve that ensemble while you are benefitting yourself. Shalom.

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