Team or Unity

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines these two words as the following:



  1. a number of persons associated together in work or activity as a group on one side.
  2. two or more draft animals harnessed to the same vehicle or implement; also: these with their harness and attached vehicle.



  1. the quality or state of not being multiple: oneness.
  2. a condition of harmony: accord.
  3. continuity without deviation or change (as purpose or action).
  4. the quality or state of being made one: unification.

Just by definition I’m guessing most people will prefer to be in unity rather than part of a team. However, we barely use the word “unity” in real life. In most of the cases when more than one person is required as part of a group, we tend to use more the word “team” to refer to it.

Where am I going with this?

For those of you in whose professions or previews studies never enjoy working in teams, guess what? Here in KI you’ll be asked to work in teams many times, and you will either learn to do so, deal with it, or hate it more. Ha! Okay, no jokes. I can’t dare to say that each one who doesn’t like teamwork, will end up loving it. No, but at least I know you’ll find a way to bear with it, and take the best of it as well.

Isn’t it funny? Look back above to the dictionary’s definition: “team:… as a group on one side.” Karolinska Institutet is full of international students with common interests I may dare reduce them into one verb: to learn. Everywhere you go here you’ll see, breath, feel, taste cultural differences among us all students. And yes! There are differences, and they are evident. I constantly hear about this “cultural difference” as an excuse to many situations, but then I wonder: “are there really all to blame of cultural differences?” because honestly I’ve personally experienced some awkward moments when I’m not sure if the word diplomacy is known in every cultural dictionary.

In life not all are peaches and cream, and every time we’re part of a team (in work or in studies) we have new challenges to face –personality traits among the group members, or too many opinions arising, leading management takeovers, language barriers appearing, all types of disparities, background experiences speaking out, and of course…“cultural differences” are a-l-w-a-y-s invited to the party. Difficult it is, huh? Because sometimes even though we know we have to pull toward the same side, in real life that’s the hardest part –getting to a common point-, and that’s what I think many people who don’t like to work as a team, still find it hard to change his/her way of thinking.

I don’t want to extend myself that much with this, I hope you’ve liked and enjoyed this reading. To close this, I would like to share with you a little something a very close friend taught me: “problems and differences are part of the human condition; day by day, try to develop as possible the capacity of being in oneness, in unity. Difference isn’t a rival of unity”. Every different one you notice could also be you, and viceversa. So, have all the differences you want, but try always to move forward in harmony, solving problems as a team in unity.

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