1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
I remember learning the definition of this word from my freshman writing teacher, first year, first semester at BYU. She had us write. A lot. Every week we read, wrote responses, journaled, worked on ongoing writing assignments having to do with research and did some creative writing too.
I was happy in her class and happy writing. In fact, it may have been the only class I really felt happy in that first semester. The reality of going from high school where I served on student government, played in the orchestra, sang in the choir, and excelled in my classes to a huge University where Biology 100 met in a massive auditorium, the teacher used a microphone and I was averaging 70% on my tests despite hours of study put me into a personal funk and intorduced me to the first tastes of mild depression.
The journals for my writing class often served as an outlet to share my struggles, but also a place to write some of the funny and happy things I did each week. It just so happened that my writing teacher was the mother of one of my best friends from high school. This friend and I still managed to get together weekly and play, despite the fact I was living at home and she was living it up with new friends and lots of dates in the illustrious Heritage Halls. Without missing a beat she had transitioned into college life and had her social circle in full swing. I would have felt jealous, but her generous spirit had seamlessly included me in this new circle.
As I wrote one week about what it meant to me to have a friend like her and how amidst the stress of College Algebra labs and 7 a.m. Health lectures we had created some hilarious memories her mom wrote a note back to me on one of my entries.
” I know she cherishes your friendship as well. You two have synergy. The sum of the two parts is greater. 1 + 1= more than 2.”
I have tried to collect more friends like that as I have moved along in life. Cheri’s editorial article Better Together reminded me how that is the way the Lord intended this life to be. We can do more, feel more, be more when we work together, live together, play together.
Segullah has been that for me as well. I am more because of these women I work with and I feel we contribute much more together than we ever could apart. What a beautiful relationship! The Summer issue online, like Cheri said, is definitely “better together”. If you haven’t had a chance yet, I hope you’ll go read it and enjoy it.
Before or after you do that, tell me about what kinds of synergistic relationships you have in your life. How do you find and keep them?