13: Fellowship

When communal or tribal bonds unite a group of people, great success is possible. But such bonding only develops if personal interests are subordinate to virtuous human relations, like open communication and empathy. The broader the perspective, the greater the good that can be achieved; and the greater the potential good, the more powerful the support behind it. A spirit of cooperation steadies the boat for the good of all, though it does help to have a beautiful island of high ideals to row toward!

Learn to respect the power of diversity, for a community’s strength lies not only in its numbers but in the diverse skills and collective resources of its members. Like the stoutest walls reinforced by different materials, the strongest groups benefit from a tolerance of differences, strengthening the fabric of the whole. With a unified group solidly behind you, even difficult enterprises can be undertaken without great risk.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

When guests gather at the door, enthusiasm is high, and divergent agendas are not yet apparent—such are the beginnings of fellowship. Use these moments carefully; they are opportunities not to be missed. To foster goodwill among a group at the start of an enterprise or consortium, avoid secret agreements. Goodwill is a fruit that blossoms in the light of transparency.

Line 2

Fellowship within an exclusive group can bring regret or humiliation. When social contacts are elitist, divisiveness and unhealthy quarreling result. This creates limitations for everyone. Avoid pettiness and shallow discrimination; be open to others and their offerings. Serious loss is unlikely, but hard feelings created by an attempt to gain a temporary advantage are almost always troublesome down the road.

Line 3

Those who mistrust their allies, spying on them and planning surprise maneuvers, usually become trapped in their own nets. Avoid unnecessary plotting and scheming, for it is a sign of the disintegration of your community. When such a pattern has begun, put a stop to it immediately! Things will only get worse if you play games, especially now.

Line 4

Quarrels and misunderstandings among associates have a way of settling themselves, and this brings good fortune. Let a natural resolution form between you, because fighting openly is not a good idea at this time. Imagine someone on a journey who, after a small mistake, has the patience to see the error of his or her ways, before it is too late to change course. Sometimes, only by allowing for open disagreement can a group find its way. Each of us is likely to make a few missteps along the way, but with an open mind and compassion, can still triumph in the end.

Line 5

The strongest bond is the one between two human hearts that have come to know and share each other’s inner thoughts and desires. Whether separated by circumstances or fate, divided by differences of opinion, or angered by each other’s behavior, if the bond is true, nothing can break it. This type of union can experience difficulty, but it will ultimately bring the sweetest joy known to humankind

Line 6 (top line)

There is fellowship with convenient associates, but warmth is lacking. A group of cordial people may be neighbors or associates, yet no great purpose unites them. That is okay; civility may be a less connected form of community, but it serves its members all the same. Though the situation may not be terribly satisfying, neither is it a cause for regret.