I watched this morning as black birds flew back and forth from the roof of my home to a tree in the middle of our compound. They took turns going back and forth, back and forth for 1-2 minutes. I stood there wondering whether there was something on the tree, whether they were flying away from something or whether the birds were just keeping themselves busy. There were little birds flying around, medium-sized birds perched on top of trees together, and large birds flying around like the baby birds. In all, the most poignant lesson I learnt this morning from these birds is that we are never supposed to alone. Almost all the birds flew around with another bird, or perched on top of tree tops next to another bird. Even those who flew around solo, flew to meet up with other birds. It was as if the birds were taking the time to teach me the importance of being together.

Birds in the sky!

Simon Sinek in his book entitled “Together is better,” talked about the importance of doing something with purpose. But even that purpose will not amount to anything if you are not surrounded by the right people who give you the courage to keep going. I call this purpose with people. Like the birds, we are all supposed to fly through life in communion with people who help us live our purpose to the fullest. ‘Life’ as Simon noted ‘is difficult and dangerous and anyone who would attempt to do is alone is simply mad.’ I agree. To also quote an African proverb, which Simon also mentioned in his book ‘to go fast, go alone, to go far, go together.’ Ooh the places and things you will see and learn if only you go with people. These birds taught me that this morning. In life, and for your journey, surround yourself with people who help you live out your purpose. It may also be crazy and scary whatever you purpose is. That’s ok too.

Alone, the ideas will always be crazy. But together, in the hands of the right people, even crazy ideas become world class innovation. Together, we are unstoppable, like birds in the sky who flock together. I learnt this first hand when I submitted the most craziest grant I have ever written last week. Together, we were sterling even though only time will tell whether the reviewers thought we were or not. In the meantime, keep being together like birds in the sky.

My daughter’s class made mini Christmas trees for their teacher. When we got the assignment early on during the week, I must honestly say I felt that it was a waste of time. Alone, I had no idea about what she was doing, except that the instructions said, string two small pieces of wood together with a green yarn and then use hot glue to stick buttons on the yarn. I even spent frustrating time looking for hot glue around my home so you know this assignment wasn’t my favorite. We did our best work. She was happy she learnt how to string yarn. I still didn’t get the purpose of the assignment until yesterday.

Yesterday we went to her school to give her teacher her Christmas gift and in the process she showed us what the kids made for her. Seeing each individual piece, my daughter’s button tree included, set together as a bunch warmed my heart. Alone, we may make no sense, even get easily frustrated with things we encounter, but together, we are often divine, so unstoppable, and genuinely sterling. In life, keep together. That’s my short but simple keep for today. By ourselves, we can make do, even do our best with whatever we set our mind to. But together, we are divine and destined for greatness.

My daughter made the tree with the buttons.