11 I want very much to see you, to give you some spiritual gift to make you strong. 12 I mean that I want us to help each other with the faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.
“Look, look,’ cried the count, seizing the young man’s hands – “look, for on my soul it is curious. Here is a man who had resigned himself to his fate, who was going to the scaffold to die – like a coward, it is true, but he was about to die without resistance. Do you know what gave him strength? – do you know what consoled him? It was, that another partook of his punishment – that another partook of his anguish – that another was to die before him. Lead two sheep to the butcher’s, two oxen to the slaughterhouse, and make one of them understand that his companion will not die; the sheep will bleat for pleasure, the ox will bellow with joy. But man – man, who God created in his own image – man, upon whom God has laid his first, his sole commandment, to love his neighbour – man, to whom God has given a voice to express his thoughts – what is his first cry when he hears his fellowman is saved? A blasphemy. Honour to man, this masterpiece of nature, this king of the creation!”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
Why does it take a village to make a change? In today’s world, we have reached a point where culturally and spiritually we are in what Leonard Sweet calls the “Perfect Storm.” How are we to survive this time? If we think that everything is going wrong, how are we to stand up and stop things from going wrong?
It is only when a group of people come together that we are able to make a change. There is an illustration that bears remembering about the strength of the village. If man is a twig, whenever that twig is pulled apart it breaks. Singularly, that man is weak and can easily fall for whatever comes for him. However, surround that twig with a bunch of other twigs, and breaking it grows infinitely harder. When a group of people stand up to the pressures of this world and say that they have a purpose, people will stop and listen.
Let us try to remember the story of Remember the Titans. Jump back to the year 1971, although America was then free, segregation was still commonplace. The whites do not mingle with the blacks and vice versa. However, that was changed by a singular high school football team that was led by Coach Herman Boone. It was unheard of for a team to consist of white and black players and function well. How could they function? Every single time they met they traded blows. It was not only until Coach Boone brought them to Gettysburg and united them with purpose did they realize that they were a team. And the rest, as they say, is history. The T. C. Williams High School football team went back to their football season and obliterated the whole competition, finishing undefeated that year.
Today, when you think about having an all-black or all-white team, we think of how preposterous that is in the United States. How is it that in a span of one singular generation that the perception of what is preposterous has changed? Was it because of some great and mighty deed that shook the foundations of the whole world? No, it was a simple village. The village of the T. C. Williams High School football team, led by Coach Boone.