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United We Stand

July 4th is a good time to think about leadership and the importance of choosing good leaders to follow. Leaders forge ahead of others and show them a vision of what could be or who they could be. As Don Quixote de La Mancha said, "Who is crazy, the world because it sees itself as it is, or I because I see how it could be?"

Good leaders unite people toward a common goal. Even though the competitive spirit in capitalism propels people to an unthinkable level, be a good sport and remember we're all Americans. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are all on the same team. The real adversary is not the guy down the street, the town 30 miles south, or the state next to ours. We are all Americans, and together we are a great and strong country. We need good leaders; we need good followers. ‘United we stand and divided we fall.’

Missouri State Flag: 2 brown bears hold a golden ring with a knights helmet on top an the motto "United we stand, divided we fall" encircling the ring, surrounded by a blue band with 24 white stars on a background with 3 Bold stripes, red, white & blue

On the Missouri State flag, ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ encircles the center. The flag of the State of Missouri was designed and stitched in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, by Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver (1885–1959).

According to the "all-knowing" Wikipedia, "United we stand, divided we fall" is a phrase that has been used in mottos, from nations and states to songs. The basic concept is that unless the people are united, it is easy to destroy them.

Anyone can be a leader. No matter where you are or what you do, you can make a difference in the world. The important thing is to make the best contribution you can make in a way that is uniquely yours. No matter how big or small, you can have a positive influence on the world.

"Who is crazy, the world because it sees itself as it is, or I, because I see how it could be?"

The 573 Magazine is a locally-owned, independent business operating in Southeast Missouri, and we have a unique opportunity to shine a positive light on the people, places, and products from all the 573 communities; in our own way, we unite the communities by showing the collective best of what we can be.

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Leadership skills are innate, learned, and developed. Parents owe it to their children (and to the future of the United States) to provide opportunities to develop leadership skills. Give your children plenty of unstructured free play. A natural-born leader will emerge, and he or she will suffer the trials and tribulations of convincing the group to follow. The leadership and communication skills they learn will be invaluable.

We’re not all alike and that’s a good thing!

While some kids emerge as leaders, others will be better at just going with the flow; they don’t want to take the lead. That’s okay. We’re not all alike, and that’s a good thing! Those kids need to learn to use their own best judgment on whom they choose to follow. Teach them about the lemmings going off the cliff and be sure they know better. Teach them that there has to be more who follow than lead, but there is strength in numbers. Teach them that the majority rules. Teach them that they have a responsibility to stay abreast of facts and keep a watch on the leader.

4th of July gives a chance to reflect on what it means to be an American. My thoughts are that I am proud of my country, and I am thankful I was born in the U.S.A. It’s the best country on earth. It’s good to be free.

Happy Independence Day!

Denelle Smugala


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