Part One – The Amazing Power of Unity!

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“If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired."

 -Askhari Johnson Hodari, Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs 

 

In 2016, we had a Word of the Month series that coincided with Joy's travel adventures. In addition to exploring a different country and culture every month, we also wanted to share a discussion about different emotions with parents, caregivers, teachers and kids. Read on to learn more on about the topic of unity.


This month, we're focusing on the idea of "unity." When I asked my six year old daughter about what she thought unity meant, I was surprised when she very simply stated, "It's when you come together for something." That's when I realized that the idea of unity doesn't need to be nebulous. Great examples of unity are everywhere, all around us, all the time.

My daughter's Legos are a perfect example. So many different little pieces scattered about in a jumbled heap of variety and seemingly useless in comparison to the example picture on the package. And yet, with a little purpose, direction, and manual effort, they all come together to form something unique, amazing, and cohesive. They unite to become something greater than the sum of all the individual parts. Interestingly enough, if any one piece is missing, the construct may still work, but it will seem...off. Even if it looks done, it will be incomplete. If every piece was the same, their unification would result in nothing more than a monochromatic, boring shape. But with each unique piece contributing, something beautiful and complex comes into being.

This exemplifies the lessons I want to teach my little one about the concept of unity: 

  • that unity doesn't take away from individual uniqueness, but instead requires it,

  • that unity is present everywhere, from toys, to teams of friends, to families, and so on,

  • that inspiring unity can be a great way of accomplishing feats that an individual cannot accomplish alone,

  • and that no matter whose idea it was to unify, everyone who participates is responsible for the end result.

I chose the quote I did in the beginning because it reminded me about why the idea of unity is so important: survival. We as a species have only survived because of our ability to communicate and unify for a greater purpose. Without that, we surely would not have made it as far as we have. 

As we dig deeper into the meaning of unity this month and discuss it with our kids, a good question to ponder is the following:

"What do you think can unite our world?"

Share your response with us in two ways:

  1. Comment on this post below.

  2. Post your answer(s) on our Facebook page, Joy Sun Bear, or tag us on Twitter,@JoySunBear, and use the hashtag #joyofunity.


Children often enlighten us with their inner wisdom and say exactly what we need to hear.  So we would love to know how your child answered the question above as well. Your answers share your unique voice and views with others, and also demonstrate how much we all have in common.

Thanks for your participation and stay tuned for more about unity next week.

Have a great week!

-John Lee

Co-Author/Illustrator

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