United we Stand, Divided we Fall

There is an old Aesop’s fable, named ‘The Bundle of Sticks’. An aged man once called all his three sons by the bedside and handed each of them a single stick of wood to be broken. Each one did it without much effort, whatsoever. He then handed over a bunch of wood tied together in a tight bundle and asked for it to be broken. Much as they tried, they failed in their attempt to break that cohesive unit. The moral was clear. The old man wanted his sons to stick together in sun and in rain, in fair and foul weather, by each other’s side, so that no harm can ever befall them.

This is the interpretation of the proverb ‘United we Stand, Divided we fall’, first coined by Aesop in his fables in the 6th century B.C. Alone and rudderless, we are at the mercy of nature and external forces, but together and grounded we are stronger and more formidable a force to reckon with. History has proved again and again that every time a country, a nation , a group has presented itself as a United front, foreign powers have had a tough time breaking through the impenetrable walls rendered strong by this cohesion. However, the more divided the factions are, the easier it becomes for invaders to break through our defences and lay siege on us.

The strength and power of unity and collaboration can never be undermined, History has been re-written, and monarchy toppled, revolutions happened on account of united forces. Cast a look at all the major happenings across the globe, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the war against apartheid, back home our Independence struggle all could be made possible with the united power we presented against the opposition.

A group of people who come together for a common cause have more chances of accomplishing the mission than a lone crusader. It is precisely the reason why armies, sportsperson, office members and families who rally together are stronger than divided factions.

It is the quest for unity which made the primitive man form bands to fight against the wild animals and fend for themselves. Unity and survival was synonymous with each other which led to the formations of villages, then cities then countries. If each person is out to prove his individual prowess and talent at the cost of synchronization and harmony, the result is bound to be a cacophony. Laborers who come together to form labor and trade unions have a better chance of fighting for their rights than if they individually clamor for them.

The world’s greatest elders Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Lenin and host of others laid emphasis on mobilization of mass opinion in their favor in order to attain their objectives.  Since the time it was first coined, the phrase has endured for thousands and thousands of years and shall stay relevant till the end of time and remain an important life skill to pass on to the next generation.

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