Billie Silvey
Life Together
June 2006
An eclectic website about Women, Christianity, History, Culture  
and the Arts--and anything else that comes to mind.
Tom Olbricht
A lone figure outlined against the sky, preferably on a horse,
always male.  He’s been played by many stars over the
years--Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood.  An
outsider who doesn’t talk a lot and doesn’t quite fit
in.  He’s the rugged individual.

A part of the American myth, he rides into town to right all
wrongs, then rides out again, leaving a grateful populace and
a few heartbroken women and children who dreamed that
he’d stay.  But he’s the rugged individual, after all.  
He can’t bother to settle down and contribute to the
growth of a family, a church, a school, a society.

The people who do that aren’t rugged individuals.  Oh,
they may be individualistic, with minds and ideas of their
own.  But they recognize the need, as my elementary school
report card used to put it, to “work well with others.�

It takes a village to rear a child.  It takes diversity to create a
society and the institutions that make it strong.  As Roger
Rosenblatt pointed out in his
Time magazine essay, “The
Rugged Individual Rides Again,â€� you can’t imagine â
€œan individual so rugged he could raise a roof beam on his

We need each other.  That’s the conclusion of most of
us, male and female.  It’s the conclusion of city planners,
who encourage mixed development, neighborhood
empowerment, and public spaces.  And it’s the
conclusion of Jesus, the reason he put his followers together
into churches and charges us to worship, study, pray and
work together.

This issue of my website treats community, including an
article on the Pepperdine Bible Lectures, centered this year
on the theme of “
Life Together�; the biblical concept
Koinonia or fellowship; and Tom Olbricht, whose book
on the theme of the Lectures and whose daily expository
study of 1 John formed the basis for our weeklong
consideration of our need to avoid the “rugged individualâ
€� mindset and cooperate in families, churches, schools and

It’s time to let that concept, and the man who embodies
it, ride off into the sunset.

I’d love to hear from you in response to the website.  I
hope you’ll suggest topics that you’re interested in
and let me know if the site is helpful to you.  This is my
website, but I believe in sharing.  You can reach me at