From the Tallahassee Democrat
Unity. Stronger Together. A team is stronger than the individual. These are all truths, when we stand together as human beings in groups, communities, companies, or as countries anything is possible.
Confronting social issues, war, poverty, storm damage, hunger we can accomplish a great deal more together vs as individuals.
I had a chance to meet with the International Rescue Committee this year (thanks, Ron Sachs, for the intro) as they assist refugees from Afghanistan to get settled in our community.
Churches, families, and local businesses have helped them get settled in with all the basics as they literally left their country with nothing but the clothes on their back. Not just one person or group assisted here, a community effort was needed to help these people try and get their lives back on track.
In the Ukraine, their President (such an inspiring leader), their people, their situation, it is all heartbreaking. It is also inspiring how they have stood up for themselves. Prayers for a peaceful end to that situation but it could get even more grim.
Big Brothers Big Sisters inspire
Back in Florida, this month I participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend Annual Big of the Year Awards event. The group honors the BIG sister and brother of the year as well as a Little (young person) of the year.
One of the speakers was Brent Hartsfield, he told the story of being a big brother to a young man for 16 years. He told the story of being named the BIG of the Year in the USA getting to visit President Obama in the White House as part of the honor. Thank you Brent, job well done sir with this group whose job it is to bring people together.
Here in our region when Hurricane Michael hit you saw citizens like Tom and Stephanie Derzypolski pack up trucks of food and other supplies and head to Calhoun County where the devastation was extreme. They had the support of hundreds of their fellow citizens in this mission.
More recently Monique and the team at Second Harvest were another example of answering a loud ringing bell to provide food to those in need when the pandemic first hit and so many were faced with the situation of where is my next meal coming from?
On the less serious side SEC and ACC football conferences during the Pandemic uniting to play football while the PAC 12 and others said no thanks, was a very entertaining example of unity.
The SEC network put a hilarious skit together of the ACC & SEC heading out on a road-trip together. It is rare that you see these fans united in our Florida vs Florida State mindset. For those reading online it’s a much needed and rare 2020 flashback laugh on YouTube.
A collaboration and a challenge
On the business front, my friend Eddie Gonzalez-Loumiet came up with the idea of Launch Tally to unite tech companies under one banner. Why do this he gets asked? Aren’t some of these companies’ competitors of each other?
The answer is good things come from collaborating, new ideas, new introductions, networking and finding commonality where you assumed there might not be any. Check them out at LaunchTally.com
The past couple of years have been challenging for all of us and I could have kept going with dozens of examples of unity here in Florida, some very serious, some less, but they have all helped the common good in some way.
Our problems are far from over, the storms, the pandemic (at least that seems to be over), gas prices, arguing about football stadium money, war raging overseas, but just maybe we have all learned a lesson during these times?
That bickering and arguing on Twitter about Joe and Donald is unproductive.
That butting heads leads to no improvement for humanity or Tallahassee, Florida.
We never learn as a whole, such is the human experience but when we work together for charity, for business or in crisis, things get done.
I would like to thank all those that rally to the cause to solve a problem and more importantly to help their fellow citizen vs those that just critique and troll.
We all seek inspiration in life, and you do not have to look far to find it in North Florida as we are surrounded by so many that put service first and we raise our glass to them.