Claire Liu, A Unit in a Unity, C8
I would like to begin my speech with a story. Once upon a time, there was an 11-year-old girl named Claire. She was the so-called ‘’perfect kid’’ in class: Always handing in her homework on time, remaining the top in class, never breaking the rules, and so on. And of course, she was never scolded by the teachers. At that time, she attended a bilingual elementary school which cared a lot about holiday celebrations, since there were lots of foreign teachers.
Claire was in the fifth grade. The school was busy preparing for the Halloween celebrations, and both her class and the other class were opponents competing for their class-made haunted houses. Claire and her three teammates were in charge of the posters. They went around the school, posting the posters everywhere. Suddenly, one of the teammate had an idea, ‘’Why not stick OUR posters on our competitor’s posters? In this case, no one will go to THEIR haunted house!’’ Well… Claire didn’t think that’s a good idea, but the others insisted on doing so. So the others started to cover every poster of the competitor with their own. Honestly, Claire was a little worried, but she told herself, ‘’That’s okay. It’s not my business. I didn’t do it.’’
The aftermath was simple: OF COURSE their naive deed was discovered. However, much to Claire’s horror, she was, for the very first time, scolded severely by her teacher along with the other teammates. It was hard to describe the shock and confusion to a girl who had never been said a single strong word by her teachers. ‘’Why me? I didn’t do it!’’ But her teacher later explained that, as a team, they had to bear the mistake together, and to be responsible for each other. As a result, they were punished to double their homework for a whole week. The end.
Yes, this is the ending of my seemingly ordinary story. I confess to all of you that the little Claire is the now grown-up Claire here. To me, the most significant lesson behind the event is that; it was my first time to bear the consequence of teamwork. It was my first time to realize; teamwork is not only about dividing work into pieces. Most importantly, it’s not about we ALONE being good; it’s about we ALL be good.
And then I came to think about the general purpose of teamwork. When we were little, teamwork could somehow resembled playhouses (扮家家酒). Each one took a role, played it out, and Voila! Let’s give it a happy ending. However, there comes a time that we must understand, a team is a unity composed of individual spirits. Instead of dividing, it’s more like uniting and bearing glory and responsibilities together. After all, ’’A Team’’ should be seen as singular. But what exactly does teamwork bring us? And what’s more, how do we go back and forth between teamwork, and our own personal traits, or sometimes we call it individuality?
In my opinion, there is a bidirectional relation between teamwork and our individuality. First we have to think about what we can do to contribute to our teams, and then, in return, teamwork strengthens our individuality. Between the two, the lines are composed of four important elements.
To begin with, it requires us to give our togetherness toward the team. Togetherness means that you approve of the team, and you’re willing to sacrifice your time and pay your efforts. It is going to be the strongest power that sticks you to a team. It will be the first reason for you to come to the team, and the last reason for you to leave.
However, we have to bear in mind that nothing is perfect. There will be times that require our endurance, because there may be someone pulling our legs, someone making mistakes, or things just don’t go the way we planned. We all need to learn to suffer in teamwork in some degrees. But don’t be frustrated by the ups and downs, because being imperfect doesn’t mean it’s not good. Teamwork needs everyone to sometimes step back a little bit, but eventually, we will go farther.
And then, after we’ve devoted ourself into teamwork, we gradually get something in return. First comes the advancement. The old wisdom told us that ‘’Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’’ When we gather our strength, we create more opportunities. So, prompt yourself to grab the chances the team offers, to make progress, to search breakthroughs. Don’t stop at a spot and say, ‘’Well, I’ve had enough.’’ Dare to try things that are new, and dare to make changes.
And finally, during the process, we will find meditation. Meditation is about getting self-reflections. We will know more about ourselves, and we’ve got to discover what suits us most, what we’re good at, and what we’re not. You may find out that you can be the leader; you may realize that you are not that careful as you thought. In short, the meditation from teamwork becomes part of our personalities.
With the basis of Togetherness, Endurance, Advancement, and Meditation, yes, we become a TEAM. ‘’A unit in a unity’’ emphasizes the importance of using our individuality as a unit, and teamwork as a unity. While we try our best to enhance the cooperation, we are also helping ourselves to build up our own uniqueness. So be confident, the key to discover our true selves indeed lies in everyone of us. Between teamwork and our individuality, we construct a door to the answer. That is, ”Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Contest Chair.