Everywhere in Washington, D.C. I was reminded of the phrase E Pluribus Unum. It was on the great Seal of the United States and was long time considered the de facto motto from 1782 until 1956, according to Wikipedia.
When the Manatee Chamber’s delegation went to Washington to visit our national leaders recently, this phrase became embedded in my thinking – as we started our first day with a tour of the Capitol. It is on the buildings, coins, seals and sculptures. Throughout the two days, E Pluribus Unum stuck with me like a tune I couldn’t get off my mind.
Out of the many – emerges one. Originally, it meant our original 13 colonies and the emergence of our nation. In more modern times, it has taken on an universal appeal of unity, commonality, assimilation .. even racial, cultural and religious meanings. Moreover, it reminded me of our great state, our organization, our mission, our trip – in a general sense.
We are a diversity of our many members .That, as a Chamber, is arguably our biggest strength; the melting pot of mostly small businesses as well as active large corporations, a diverse group of native Manatee Countians as well as an in migration of members/residents and leaders, gatekeepers and followers. Those that are humble and those that are arrogant. .. the list goes on and on.
That (diversity) can also be our biggest weakness as a country, county, state and a chamber of commerce. For example, if we did not have a specific mission and objective(s) when we went to D.C. or to Tallahassee (where we go annually), we most likely would be unsuccessful. Every one of the six members who travelled to D.C. had a specific topic/responsibility. If any one of them had diverted and talked about an issue that was not on our Business Agenda, it would have weakened our purpose. I thank them for their unity of purpose and leadership and vision. When we were in D.C., we spoke out for the residents and the tourists, the islanders and the mainlanders, those with health care and those without. Out of the many, emerges one.
If you want to learn more about the D.C. trip and our meetings while there, read the October article and view the pictures in the Current magazine. Also, in the months ahead you can follow our 2013 Business Agenda for Tallahassee, Fl. and in Washington, D.C.
This is a most important election year. You are encouraged to be inspired and to learn more about the many issues and elections facing our community. Become involved in crafting and carrying out your Chamber’s voice. We are definitely a mix of different cultures and individuals and want to retain our distinct identity. Help us E Pluribus Unum in Manatee County!