God’s “Take” on E Pluribus Unum

photo 4 (59)  Dear Reader:

After, admittedly, a few tears and a little  disappointment that my voice didn’t return in time to tell the annual Christmas story…I dug down deep to get my priorities and attitude straight….(through a special piece of advice that my Ya friend, Libby, told me after the shock of re-starting the blog.)

I have had some people who didn’t make the service (due to the weather or illness) ask me to share what was on the cards I gave to Dorothy (Associate Pastor) to read and hold up. Here they are:

1) I THINK A SMILE IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT

2) …BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE TO TALK TO GIVE IT!  (I was smiling my biggest smile)

3) I CAN’T TALK!  ( Sad expression)

4) IT IS VIRAL LARYNGITIS (WHICH MEANS YOU DON’T GET ANY OF THE “GOOD STUFF” TO KNOCK IT OUT!)  (I gave a disgusted shake of my head)

5) “LIFE IS ALL ABOUT HOW WE HANDLE “PLAN B”

6) WELL, GUESS WHAT?  (I was getting all excited)

7) “I’VE GOT THE BESTEST PLAN B AROUND”  (Holding two thumbs up)

photo 1

8) CARRIE SIMPSON WILL TELL THE STORY TONIGHT…( We all started clapping)

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9) *** AND AS FOR ME…

10) *** (Libby, remember your advice) “I REFUSE TO LET ANYONE OR ANYTHING STEAL MY JOY FROM ME!”  (Hands crossed over my chest)

11)*** EVEN THIS FROG STUCK IN MY THROAT! ( I made a few ribbit motions.)

Then I joyfully introduced my wonderful niece Carrie Simpson! And it was pure joy to watch her sweet face and enthusiastic expressions throughout the readings.

………………………..

E Pluribus Unum (found on the United States Great Seal) is a Latin phrase that we, Americans, translate into meaning “One out of many” or “One from many.” 

Since we are the ‘land of immigrants’ this phrase is felt to have special meaning for a novel concept emphasizing the importance of diversity over only one tolerated acceptance of a people or ideas. Or as Malcolm Forbes once quoted:

“Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.”

I started thinking about the importance of diversity while recognizing and accepting individual differences yesterday afternoon. What prompted this train of thought was the movie Ben and I went to see- The Imitation Game– Based on the true story of the life of Alan Turin, the  brilliant English mathematician, who created the first footwork for the modern day computer, and in doing so broke the Secret Nazi Enigma Code …which saved millions of lives and sped up the conclusion of World War II.

Alan Turin, played incredibly by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes/ actor on BBS…really cute) is an enigma in himself….Bullied unmercifully as a child at boarding school, a mathematical genius with few social graces… he is clueless to reading “people”…only machines. He spends much of his life feeling friend-less and alone. He is also gay in a time when England considers it a criminal offense and subject to prosecution and job loss.

Yet it is this complicated, brilliant, vulnerable individual who changes history and saves millions of lives. The personal price for him is high, however, when given (court order) harmone treatments to make him “right” again when the legal system learns of his “condition.” * Bring kleenex.

Just another example of man’s inhumanity to man. People who are considered “different,” in any facet of the definition, still have a tough “go” of it today. But, think about it,  if John Turin had not been different, with all the complexities of his genius and abandoned upbringing, we might be speaking German right now. A hero among heroes. Remember “God don’t make no mistakes.” He has a purpose for each one of His children.

Speaking of God…our God is the God of diversity. We only have to re-read the creation story to see that His own plan, His design, for the world was based on diversity and providing global bio-domes, different environments, throughout the world for thousands of different species to live.

God just didn’t want zebras wandering around and nothing else…just like He doesn’t want all of us humans the same skin color, gender, or sharing the same interest and talent, height, weight, etc.

Here is a short excerpt from an article I found and liked on God and diversity.

God Fitted Habitats for Biodiversity

James J.S. Johnson, J. D., Th. D.

God chose to fill the earth with different kinds of life. All over the world, we see His providence demonstrated in ecological systems. Different creatures live in a variety of habitats, interacting with one another and a mix of geophysical factors—like rain, rocks, soil, wind, and sunlight. But why does this happen? And how does it happen? These two questions are at the heart of ecology science—the empirical study of creatures interactively living in diverse “homes” all over the world.

Why did God design earth’s biodiversity the way that He did?

Two words summarize the answer: life and variety.

God loves life. God is the essence and ultimate origin of all forms and levels of life.

God loves variety. God’s nature is plural, yet one, and He is the Creator of all biological diversity anywhere and everywhere on earth.

……….

I started out with the inscription on the Great Seal of the United States- E Pluribus Unum- and our translation of it…”One out of many.”

However the original Latin meaning is slightly different…but importantly “different.” It reads: “Out of many, one.”

I think God’s idea of diversity is the original Latin one…Though mankind is many…God looks upon us each as unique individuals, we are all “one” to Him because like any good parent…He recognizes the strengths and weaknesses in all His children’s diversity yet loves us, unconditionally, for simply who we are…He is accepting of us being “different” because He doesn’t see us as such.

So until tomorrow….Let us help others with differences that make them the societal victims of bullies… by showing them the possibilities to change others with their gift of uniqueness and “different” from God.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* My favorite quote from the movie:

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of… who do the things that no one can imagine.”

 

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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