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Unity vs. Uniformity

DJ Harrington - Fuel for Thought

DJ Harrington – Fuel for Thought


By DJ Harrington

Some people confuse the word “Unity” with the word “Uniformity,” but these words are not synonymous. Here’s why they’re not the same.

Uniformity is when everyone or everything looks alike. We see uniformity throughout the week at places such Sunday morning when the church choir sings while wearing matching robes. They dress alike, but certainly some sing better than others. Even students who attend a private school may have donned similar uniforms so everyone starts out the day “the same.” But, in reality, they aren’t the same. Some of those students won’t learn any better because of what they are wearing because every one of them learns differently. Uniformity is when everyone agrees on the main thing, but it doesn’t mean they are really working together.

On the other side of uniformity is Unity. Unity is when people who don’t necessarily have anything in common join together for something in which they do find commonality. Unity needs an added ingredient. It’s common cause. They come together to unite around their common cause.

Towers, it’s time for us to UNITE around our common cause!!! All of us are different because of the color of our trucks, how many we have, the number of workers we employ, whether working a City or County market or providing private property towing services. We find ourselves eating “on-the-run” because we are always “on-call.” At one time or another, all of us have missed a son’s or daughter’s important ballgame or recital that we’ve promised to attend. However, due to business, we have missed some of those important moments.

Towers, UNITE!!! We need to work together. We need to join our State Associations. We also need to belong to TRAA, the Towing Recovery Association of America. With TRAA, you are in business for yourself but not by yourself. This association is “the Voice of America’s Towing Industry.” For over 30 years now, they have taken that slogan very seriously. They work to improve our industry’s voice in legislation, education and communication.

Every March, they have their annual legislative and leadership conference in Washington, D.C. Last March, when I spoke at their meeting, I saw firsthand what their meetings focus on. Towers came from all over the country and they were there just to show “unity.” Towers are different in many ways but very much alike, too. Let’s review the TRAA Mission Statement, particularly statement, No. 4 which promotes “Unity.”

  1. To foster and promote the interest and welfare of all towing and recovery operators in North America and to encourage towing professionalism and quality customer service throughout the world.
  2. To foster and encourage fair competition in all business dealings and to promote and encourage good fellowship among members. To promote and encourage the enactment of wise and uniform legislation that fosters professionalism, quality service, healthy completion, and fair compensation.
  3. To support the grassroots legislative process and be ready to provide hands-on advice and expertise when called upon to serve the legitimate interests of the towing and recovery industry; and to oppose unwise state and local legislation deemed to have potential negative impact on the towing and recovery industry as a whole.
  4. To seek to eliminate unfair and destructive industry practices. To foster cooperation and unity among associations in our industry so that we may have a representative body that speaks with a single voice and wields the collective power of the group to protect and serve the interests of the towing and recovery industry and to promote fair dealings and quality customer service.

To put it simply, as Towers, we must encourage and foster towing professionalism, quality customer service, enactment of wise and uniform legislation that fosters these along with fair compensation for all as well as be ready at any time to provide expertise for our industry and to be a UNIFIED “single-voice” that speaks for the industry with collective power.

I can not express enough how important it is for you to recognize the difference between these two words: Unity and Uniformity. Take the time to review your TRAA Mission Statement. Are you about Unity or Uniformity? If you fail to understand what Unity really means, you will impose your preferences upon those you come in contact with. But if you really understand “Unity,” you can accept people who are different from you and will work with them better than you could imagine. When you do have Unity, it will then become a wonderful experience for you. Chose Unity NOT Uniformity!!!

See you next time.

DJ Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He can be reached at 800-352-5252 or by e-mail at dj@djsays.com