As the war continues and more lives are lost, Easy Company begins to receive replacements.
Most of them are young and inexperienced. The contrast between those who’ve been in combat and those who haven’t is stark.
- The replacements know theories; the veterans know fact.
- The replacements have sweated in boot camp; the veterans have bled in battle.
- The replacements want to fit in; the veterans already are in.
While the veterans have the clear edge when it comes to knowledge and experience, the fact is they need the replacements to help them win the war. There’s a true interdependence at play, although it’s not always recognized or appreciated as such.
The replacements need the wisdom of the veterans. They benefit from seeking them out and learning all they can. The veterans need the energy of the replacements. They benefit from inviting, including, and investing in them.
Sometimes these exchanges go well, but often they don’t. There are some common pitfalls along the way.
Replacements tend to stumble when they’re too intimidated, foolish, or arrogant to ask veterans for help.
Veterans tend to stumble when they’re too inaccessible, detached, or indifferent to share what they know.
When one group succeeds, both groups succeed. When one group fails, both groups fail. Both need each other but both are prone to act as if they don’t.
Here’s a few questions for you to think about:
What’s something that you’re new at right now? Who can you find to help you succeed? Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Mentors can be dead or alive, across the table or in a book.
What’s something that you’re experienced at right now? Who can you help succeed? Again, think outside the box and be open to exploring new ways of connecting with others.
Regardless of our position, we need others and they need us. We’re interconnected. So let’s learn what we can, give what we can, and avoid the common pitfalls.