Many Hands Make Light Work

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"Many Hands Make Light Work"
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John Heywood, English playwright and poet, wrote this proverb, "Many hands make light work." Many examples exist that support this saying. Scripture gives an example of this principle in Ecclesiastes 4:12 when it exclaims, "And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart." This scripture teaches about strength in numbers. Historical, biblical and current examples show that "Many hands make light work."

Henry Ford's birth occurred on a family farm in Dearborn, Michigan. From the time of his boyhood, Henry enjoyed working on with machines. When Ford turned forty years old, he made the Ford Motor Company proclaiming, "I will build a car for the great multitude." In 1908, the Model T cost $950. Ford knew there must exist a faster way to make these cars. Using a constantly moving assembly line, workers could construct the cars a great deal sooner. During the Model T's nineteen years of production, it's price dropped to $280. Because of Henry's numerous employees, the company could create a complete Model T every 93 minutes. Due to more workers, this caused remarkable improvement over the earlier production time of 728 minutes.

Nehemiah, a Biblical example, supports my position that involves the wall around Jerusalem. After the Jews returned from exile, they began rebuilding the wall that previous invaders destroyed. Judah's governor, Nehemiah, led the reconstruction of this wall. When the inhabitants of the land saw the construction taking place, anger grew in them. Nearby people ridiculed the Jews for building the wall, saying that they could not make building stones out of burnt rubble. As governor, Nehemiah acquired builders to work on the stone wall. In Nehemiah 4:6, it states, "We kept at it, repairing and rebuilding the wall. The whole wall was soon joined together and halfway to its intended height" During the construction, Nehemiah instructed half of the builders to work on the wall, while the other half protected it. With many people working on this wall, they completed it in only 52 days. Jerusalem's wall would never have reached completion if only a few people had worked on it.

Starting in my younger years, moving Christmas boxes remains a task that shows that many hands make light work. Christmas decorations stay in boxes in my brother's crawl space on the second floor. Around the first of December, our family spends an hour getting the boxes down to the first floor in our dining room, where we unpack them. With more than one person, transferring the boxes goes fairly quickly, but if one person tries to finish this chore by himself, it takes much longer. Decorating the Christmas tree, gives us another example of the quote. Putting the ornaments on the Christmas tree with our whole family happens in a short time, but doing it by yourself would take hours. Another life example involves a project that my church did. Nancy, a widow, recently lost her 28 year-old son, Josh. Over the past years, she and Josh would cut, spilt and stack firewood before winter, which took them weeks to finish. After her son's death this fall, our church decided to help Nancy this year preparing the firewood. One Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., around 50 men and children did the splitting and stacking of the wood for Nancy. We completed the job at 11:30 a.m. In only two and half hours, our church accomplished a chore that would of taken Nancy all autumn to perform.

Bee and ant colonies also provide evidence that many hands make light work. Functions necessary in order for a colony of bees to survive include building and repairing the hive, searching for nectar and pollen, making wax and honey, feeding the young, and protecting the hive. It would take a great deal longer or probably impossible for a single bee to complete these tasks then if a colony of bees performed them. In addition to bees, ants also survive in colonies rather than as individuals. For example, when predators approach, ants respond by attacking in large numbers. Isolated ants would probably not survive an attacking animal. Larger ants generally defend in the colony, the intermediate-sized ants mainly search for food, and the smallest ants tend the larvae. One of the ant's strengths consists of communication. Ants share knowledge of a food source's location with each other. This prevents individual ants from wandering around pointlessly when another ant knows the site of food.

Teamwork happens because of the truth of this statement, "Many hands make light work." I have found the importance of this principle during football season this fall. At our first scrimmage game, I had the opportunity to score a touchdown. Lineman, coaches and the quarterback, played an essential part in my chance to score a touchdown. Without teamwork, a coordinated effort would not come about. We can see from the Bible, history, animals and man that many hands truly do make light work.

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