OUR SUM IS GREATER THAN OUR PARTS – weekly blog/podcast from Dee Chadwick

OUR SUM IS GREATER THAN OUR PARTS. This week’s blog and podcast is available at www.deechadwick.co.uk/blog
Podcast 9.23 minutes

I feel that this saying is very appropriate for our current situation. As I have said before we all are playing our part to help to rid ourselves and this world of ours of the pandemic. Together we can do this –as with our joint efforts, we are stronger than we think and certainly a whole lot stronger than if left to stand alone..


It is credited as having been originated way back by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Having said that, I have no idea of the context and, even though, in theory, I have lots of extra time at present, the brain is not inclined to do further research. So I am just hoping that it isn’t fake ’news’, though fake history would probably be a better turn of phrase. It basically does what it says on the tin – a group is more effective if its members interact positively with each other rather than working in isolation from each other. We are a part of a group at present that may be a different group to our previous one. No matter what our role. No matter how seemingly large or small that role.

For me, it’s a bit like people producing a play. There are the playwrights, the actors, the directors; the make-up artists, the costume designers and production people, the scenery constructors. These may be seen as the ‘lead’ roles, with part of this perceived importance being due to them being seen as contributing to the finished performance. They, or their work, is visible. However, they depend on those who sell the tickets, clean and prepare the theatre, the school hall, whatever. Those who do the stitching and mending. Along with those supporting all of the above by feeding them, helping them to learn lines, etc etc – the many unsung, anonymous heroes all doing their particular bit. Just as in our present situation. I am one of the many anonymous ones doing my bit, by self-isolating. I am also offering emotional support to others in similar situations to me as well as those out on that stage – the very many key workers – and those supporting by ‘doing their bit’ – people sewing masks, making face shields, collecting food and prescriptions – whatever needs to be done. Our whole comes in different organisations of people – villages, towns, larger communities – all of which are surviving, when alone they could very well have been at the very least struggling. Each of those communities reflects the many, many parts of which it is made up. The few chiefs and the many many Indians.


There will be those for whom isolation and solo working provides the opportunity for discovery. Maybe, as you are reading this, there are some in isolation who are creating great works of art, are writing wonderful stories, as they see the time as a time of freedom rather the ‘time of constraint view’ that most are seeing at present. For example, back in the sixteen hundreds, Sir Isaac Newton spent his time of isolation during the Great Plague to allow his thoughts and his creativity free rein.  Included were his theory of gravity; and discoveries that were to form the roots for his future work back at Cambridge University.   https://fee.org/articles/how-isaac-newton-turned-isolation-from-the-grea…


I have to say that it was only after I had finished this piece that I had a kerching moment. I was swapping the picture into my prepared blog file when I read that it is actually a picture of Luneburg Heath where Montgomery accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender back on May 4th, 1945. I simply hadn’t noticed this before. One of my treasured possessions is a photograph album of my father’s war memories. There, at the end he has taped in a sprig of heather he picked from that spot on Luneburg Heath.  A sprig of heather which still survives today.  Still taped in by the old stamp edging some 75 years later. 75 years to the day that I will be pressing the ‘publish’ button for this blog post. What goes round has certainly come round. Thank you Dad. x

We often view heather as a sheen of colour spreading later in the year. A sheen spreading over the mountains, the moorlands of the UK, or other countries with a similar climate. Maybe we notice and comment as we drive through the area. It’s quite likely, however, that many of us, in our busyness don’t even notice it; or certainly don’t feel that we have the time to stop and admire this miracle of nature. Some may get to have a somewhat closer view if able to get your boots on and tramp through such areas. Walking through the very thing causing that distant purple haze. Being aware that it is far more than a purple hue as you push through the sturdy clumps.

However, it is only when we get up close and personal that we see what really goes to make up that purple hazed carpet. It is only then that we see those tiny beautiful, but individually, insignificant individual purple flowers. Flowers that cluster together along the woody stem to form part of the clump of an individual plant. An individual plant that sways in the breeze along with its neighbours, is maybe sheltered and supported by such neighbours if and when the breeze builds up to a strong wind, or a gale. Nurturing each other. Each individual tiny flower being supported in order to, together, produce that wonderful, heart warming purple haze.

So remember, you are important to the whole, as long as you aren’t one of those who continues to believe that they are above the rest of us little flowers….one believing that they are better than us so don’t have to follow the current rules as they endeavour to do just what they choose to do. One who continues to ignore that two meters spacing when out and about.

It doesn’t matter if you are a delicate, fragile old woman. A young child, having had the current situation explained, but hopefully not grasping the full implications. A hairy chested, macho bloke who supposedly doesn’t connect with his emotions. Each and every one of us is important. By doing your job, as a key worker, necessary for society as a whole; by researching ways to stop the spreading and re-spreading of the virus; by doing voluntary work; by stitching, sewing and making PPE; by isolating yourself in an effort to cut down the spread of our current enemy – whatever. It doesn’t matter if you don’t see yourself as a chief, YOU are a very significant part of that whole which will lead us to overcome this virus.

Together, we will prevail.. remember to look out for those who may need a little extra support … be kind to them. Be kind to yourself.

Take care and keep safe and well. If you are finding your role is causing you problems, do get in touch – I am offering counselling by phone or Skype, on a donation basis. If you cannot afford a donation, please still get in touch and allow me to support you in your role.


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