Together as One
Once upon a time, there was an old man who was very ill and lay dying in his bed. He had four children who were always fighting among themselves. All were always hostile to each other, always in conflict with each other. The old man always worried about them. He wanted to teach them a lesson. One day, he asked all of them to come to him. When they came, the old man gave them a bundle of sticks and asked them, “can you break these sticks?” First, the first son tried to break it. He tried very hard and he couldn’t. Finally he gave up. Then, it was the second son’s turn. He too tried, and tried very hard and failed to break. He too gave up. Then, the third son and the last son tried in turn one after the another. All tried, and all could not break the bundle of sticks. Then, he gave one stick at a time to each of them and asked them again “can you break it?” Each of them broke it.
The old man smiled at his sons and said, “My children, do you understand what happened? It is always easy to break one stick. But, when sticks are bundled together, none of you could break the bundle. In the same vein, you four brothers should always stick together. Then, no one can hurt you. But, should you separate, any one is able to hurt you.” The four sons realized what their father was trying to teach them and reconciled, made peace among themselves, and forgo their hostility and learnt that unity is strength and that unity creates a potent force. From that day on, they never fought each other. They forged unity among themselves, lived together in peace, harmony and unity
This story presents a powerful case for global citizenship practice. The world today is more connected and reduced to a kind of global village. The barriers that existed between nations and peoples have been brought down either by the many wonderful creations like inter-continental transport creations, air travel, education, tourism and technological advancements like the internet, or by problems that have taken a global trend and affected all nations alike. Problems like global warming, HIV/AIDS, economic depression, child abuse,terrorism and others have connected the world in such a way that it is never safe anymore for anyone to say, well, that is for my neighbor there. It is time we must all bundle up like the pieces in that bundle of sticks, so that we, together can overcome these problems. The more we look out for each other, the more we lift and support each other, the more we realize that we belong to and can only succeed as a big global family, the more we overcome and resist the problems. That is what global citizenship is to me….That everyone realizes that they are only but a part of a big whole and that it is everyone`s responsibility to see that the rest of the players not only remain in place but to ensure that when one of the pieces in the bundle becomes vulnerable, those that are less vulnerable and stronger must help out. We just must remain one united bundle at all costs.