I love this African proverb that I heard recently:
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”
When we’re alone, we are traveling “light”–we don’t have to worry about or help another person…we can go quickly.
However, when we go together with another, we have a companion and support, and can endure more and go much farther.
In life, going it alone…is more of a “flight” response. When you have to run, you get away as quickly as you can.
In the movie Last of the Mohicans the fleeing male character yells to the woman, “Stay Alive! No matter how long it takes, I will find you.” They disperse, each one moving as speedily as possible to survive.
Similarly, when we have to “fight,” there is power in numbers. We are always stronger and more capable as a team.
Already from The Three Musketeers, we acknowledge the familiar refrain of, “All for one, and one for all.”
Similarly, when a military force advances it does so in strength with coordination and in unison, but when it is under severe attack and is retreating, often it does so chaotically, running with “every man for himself” trying to save as many as possible.
Overall, while we need the strength of unity and the speed of an agile runner, in the end we have to have faith, hope, and perseverance to survive.
Ernest Hemingway said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards some are strong at the broken places.” 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)