One stick is easy to break, but twenty sticks, bound together, are strong.
I often travel in the Developing World as part of my work with the Foxglove Project. I have the opportunity to work with women making their way out of poverty in ways that provide for their children and extended families. It’s wonderful.
And I have noticed, that regardless of the country I am visiting, one of their first gestures of friendship is ‘holding hands’. Irrespective of whether we are sitting in conversation, walking to their homes or workplaces, or standing to listen to another, they take my hand. It is one of those gestures that says so much: acceptance, connection, unity, hope.
Recently I was sitting with a group of women in Rwanda. In an open field on a mountain in rural Nyamagabe. We were laid out in a circle and as we started to talk, and without hesitation, the women around the group took one another’s hand. Until it was a closed circle with me caught up in the middle.
It was a metaphor of strength and commitment to one another. No words were needed but a Rwandan proverb popped into my head;
“One stick is easy to break, but twenty sticks, bound together, are strong.”