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\”Unity\” – Word of the Week

Definition of the word of the week (UNITY): 1) The state or quality of being one; singleness. 2) The state or quality of being in accord; harmony.

A great visual on the strength and importance of unity is the ease with which one small stick can be snapped in half. Given a person’s level of strength, one may be able to break several small sticks. But, when the sticks are bundled together, they are unbreakable. A synergism results in that the strength of the bundle is greater than the sum of the individual sticks. It is like that with people as well.

The Great Seal of the United States has the Latin motto, E Pluribus Unum—Out of Many, One. Although this originally referred to the thirteen colonies banding together to form a new nation, it now represents the strength that America draws from diverse sources from around the world. Regardless of where an American was born, here we are all Americans. It is not like that in other countries. In some countries, you, your father, your grandfather and your great grandfather could have been born in the country and still the country would not recognize you as a native. You would always be considered an outsider. Most of these other nations are more homogeneous and consequently are limited to the strengths and weaknesses of that one particular group. America, on the other hand, draws strength of unity from many diverse peoples and the result is the greatest nation the world has ever known.

Fewer things can be more important than creating and improving “unity in the community.” In our community, my hat if off to Mohawk Industries and the faith-based community who have joined forces to make our community a better place to live. The faith-based committee has joined hands across lines that usually divide us. This diverse committee includes various religious, cultural, ethnic, racial and economic groups that have banded together for “the greater good.” Instead of focusing on the issues and prejudices that divide us, they draw strength from the unity that is provided by each group. E Pluribus Unum.

Are you willing to help us band together to form an invincible force for the greater good? Or, will you choose to snap like the single stick?

The following quotations are intended to assist in explaining and exemplifying the word of the week:

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Christian & Judaism Scriptures, Psalms 133

In order to live a fully human life, we require not only control of our bodies; we must touch the unity and resonance of our physicality, our bond with the natural order, the corporeal grounds of our intelligence. Adrienne Rich, Poet

In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity. Anne Baxter, Actress

Any unity that doesn’t have its origin in the multitudes is tyranny. Blaise Pascal, Philosopher

If we divine a discrepancy between a man’s words and his character, the whole impression of him becomes broken and painful; he revolts the imagination by his lack of unity, and even the good in him is hardly accepted. Charles Cooley, Sociologist

When we are not honest, we are cut off from a significant resource of ourselves, a vital dimension that is necessary for unity and wholeness. Clark Moustakas, Psychologist

The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety. Felix Mendelssohn, Composer

I take as my guide the hope of a saint: in crucial things, unity…in important things, diversity…in all things, generosity. George Bush, President

COL Patrick Beer, the Dean of Students and Commandant of Cadets at Georgia Military College, prepares this study guide each week as part of the institution’s character education program. He welcomes comments and suggestions from readers. He can be contacted by phone, 478-445-2710 or by email, pbeer@gmc.cc.ga.us