Bob Tamasy: Strength And Safety In Numbers

Monday, September 3, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Before our recent trip to Italy, we read articles and viewed videos about the do’s and don’ts about travel overseas. A lot of the supposed advice, such as not to wear shorts or T-shirts, proved to be off-base. Especially when we went, with temperatures stuck in the 90s (not sure what that was in Celsius), going around in shorts and the lightest shirts possible was definitely the way to go.

Another admonition was to be wary of pickpockets, or individuals seeking to scam you out of your possessions by using various techniques. Although we never encountered situations like these, there might have been good reason.

Most of the time we were with a tour group of 29 men and women, including our tour guide. While none of us would have been mistaken for bouncers or professional wrestlers, I’m sure our sheer numbers would have discouraged potential con artists. As they say, there is strength and safety in numbers.

We see examples of this in everyday life all the time. I haven’t had an opportunity to see the giant redwoods along the Pacific Coast, but I’ve heard many of them tower more than 300 feet tall. At that height, we would rightfully assume they have a very deep root system to anchor them. However, roots for the redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens is the official scientific name) are very shallow, typically not deeper than five or six feet.

So what’s the secret of their stability? Those same roots can extend up to 100 feet, and they intertwine with the roots of neighboring redwood trees. The trees thrive in thick groves, where they fuse their roots together and form a natural support system.

Remember the thin, No. 2 pencils we used in school? I recall being able to take one, hold it between my outstretched fingers and with little effort, being able to snap it in two. For a moment, we could feel like Superman. But put two between one’s fingers at one time and the task got much harder; try three at a time and it might be the finger bones that did the snapping.

The same principle holds true even for relatively thin pieces of string. In fact, the Bible says as much: “A cord of three strands is hard to break” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Do you ever watch TV crime shows, maybe “NCIS” or one of the detective series? In almost every episode, some knucklehead decides to walk down a dark alley or into a forest at night. Oh, no! You know what’s going to happen: Nothing good! I have no affinity for dark alleys, period – but if I ever had to go into one, I’d make sure to gather several burly, mean-looking friends of mine to accompany me.

I’ve discovered this is one big reason men are eager to engage in mentoring relationships. Personal growth, whether from a professional or spiritual standpoint, is much more difficult when attempted in isolation. They might try to develop on their own, but it proves to be a slow, frustrating, even futile pursuit. Too many distractions and pitfalls along the way.

We need the constructive, sometimes creative friction that we gain by being together as mentor and mentoring partner to grow and mature most effectively. Proverbs 27:17 puts it this way: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Sad but true, the world around us has become less and less safe. As they say, it’s a jungle out there. Especially from a spiritual perspective. The Scriptures tell us, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour(1 Peter 5:8). There are two ways to avoid this danger. The first is to flee. The second is to travel in the company of fellow believers, supporting and encouraging one another, and applying the principle that there truly is strength and safety in numbers.

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog,, or his website (now being completed), He can be emailed at

Jones Memorial UMC To Hold "Service And Honor Sunday" Sept. 30

Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, 4131 Ringgold Road in East Ridge, will host  their first Service & Honor Sunday on Sept. 30.  At the 10:30 a.m. Worship Celebration, the church will honor guests: first responders, educators, civil servants, military, medical providers and community workers.  A dinner will follow.  The guest speaker, a retired ... (click for more)

Red Back Hymnal Singing Set For Sunday

Ooltewah Church of God has invited Bill Hullander to bring his popular red back hymnals to their church Sunday at 6 p.m., at 9320 Lee Hwy. Mr. Hullander will MC the old fashioned hymnal singing just as he and his wife Linda do on the third Sunday each month at 6 p.m. at their farm in Apison.     “This type of singing is beginning to really take off and we are ... (click for more)

Black Creek To Pay For Engineer Firm's Review Of New City Road Up Aetna Mountain

City Transportation Director Blythe Bailey said Tuesday that the Black Creek Mountain Development Group will pay for a review by an engineering firm of plans for a new city road up Aetna Mountain to a planned major development on top. Geosyntec Consultants is charging $39,754 for the examination of the planned road that will roughly follow the track of the current dirt road that ... (click for more)

2 Bank Tellers Say They Are Positive Walter Rice Was Gunman Who Robbed Hixson Branch

Two tellers from the Hixson branch of the Bank of America testified Tuesday they are positive that Walter Frank Rice is the individual who robbed them at gunpoint last July 25. General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom bound a bank robbery charge against Rice, 36, of 4734 Sabrina Lane, Hixson, to the Grand Jury. She raised his bond on the bank robbery charge to $250,000, calling ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Who Is This ‘New Voice’?

It’s easy for me to say that I either know, or know about, almost every person running in November for the state legislature. Yet when I describe Lemon Williams as the most exciting of the bunch, that’s because he's the only guy I had never heard of when he picked up his qualifying papers. He just turned out the best political aspirant I have had a conversation with in the last ... (click for more)