Each One Teach One

Greg Middleton
5 min readMar 30, 2020

I was surprised to learn that this phrase is known as an African American Proverb. It was said to have started during the days of slavery. Slaves were denied education including learning how to read. Most of them were kept as much as possible in a state of ignorance about anything beyond their immediate circumstances, which were under the control of their slave owners, lawmakers, and other authorities. When one enslaved person learned how to read it became their duty to teach someone else, spawning the phrase, “Each one teach one.” This was a post on Wikipedia. There were other posts there but this one caught my eye because of my experiences as an African American who grew up in the South under segregated laws, rules, and wicked unlawful authorities. It is important to note that at one point such treatments were legal before the civil war.

Though I have covered the subject about racial and other differences a number of times in my blogs it is not the primary focus of what I would like to cover at this moment. This notion of “each one teach one” was born out of the souls of people that had no good options. It was born out of necessity because it came from a place so deep within the human soul. This is the place where we all exist in spirit and where we exist in the heart of God. Each of us was given something to offer to one another that in many cases is not all that apparent because of how we place value on things. This also goes to the heart of spiritual gifts and abilities. Within us, there is a part of the totality of God because we are all a piece of Him. All are made from the same substance, which comes from God alone. It is like taking a cup of water out of the ocean, it is still the same substance of the ocean just separated from the mass. So, in essence, we were created with the notion of each of us helping one another. Unfortunately, only when pushed to the brink does this come out?

We are experiencing times right now when we are pressed to the brink of our humanity. To cure this it will require that each of us do our part in the survival of the whole. Each human being is one tiny piece of the entire jigsaw puzzle that makes up the whole of humanity. The one drawback is the fact that we have become disenfranchised or otherwise indoctrinated to believe otherwise. We are raised to feel our oneness rather than a part of a much greater body. If you feel that you are only an individual person responsible only for yourself then the notion of each one teach one has not yet been pushed to the brink in your soul.

Individually, we are similar to one single cell out of the human body that functions along with the countless trillions of other cells in the same body. Each cell has a function that it serves for the good of the whole body. Not all cells are good functioning cells in the human body. Some get too old to function and the body discards them. I read that the cells of our outer skin constantly renew itself so as we age we literally do not have the same skin that we were born with. I am not sure that is true but years ago I read that somewhere. The point being, our bodies are self-sufficient and operate well without us actually doing much consciously. Our Maker designed it that way. In a similar way, humanity was designed to operate as a body. We were to do unto others, as you would have others do unto you. You were to love one another and help one another because as we do we assist our entire body of humanity is not only surviving but thriving as well.

Imagine if everyone came to the table with what they do best and offer that particular gift or talent to others that they do not have what each other have? As we share our particular gifts, talents, or services the entire population could become whole and complete not lacking anything. All human abilities were disbursed amongst humankind so literally; it is all right here on earth as it is in heaven right now, in an odd sort of way. God wanted us to share our uniqueness with each other just as He shared Himself with all of mankind. But for some reason, we think that our special gift was just for our benefit. Obviously this is not the case for all but for the most part, we seem to be trending that way. Such thinking is the reason why over 99% of all the wealth and resources are controlled by less than 1% of the population. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. That is so ungodly yet that is what the world has become. We could reverse this but it would take an act of God. Certainly, those who have, are not eager to give up what they have. Besides they need people on the bottom to use as stepping stones in order to stay on top in their lofty positions.

Quite frankly it appears that this whole notion of godliness is just a myth to most people. Most have strayed away from things that bind us as the human family. The entire world is divided by borders, nations, cultures, wealth, neighborhoods, communities, and all sorts of confinements. Somehow we have taken God’s creation and carved it into pieces of personal possessions. We take the natural resources to sell or barter them and keep them from those who need them. I am not against capitalist enterprises but when you withhold life-sustaining material that causes people to suffer that is not right. No one should be denied a substance that keeps them alive. If each one would help another that would not be the case because those who have more in abundance could share with others… there would be no starvation! This godly notion is not even what human beings do anymore. This was the body that God created!

How did we get so far away from the grand design of creation? In truth, there is no lack on our planet other than what has been created by mankind. The main problem is having the heart of God that compels us to help one another. If the spirit of God were in us that would be all we would wish to do? With the heart of God, we couldn’t even stand to see others suffering knowing that it is within our power to relieve what ails them. I do not say this lightly because we are all partially under this spell… it has become the way of the world. I am not sure there has ever been a point in history when mankind recognized his true kinship with God. We were made in the image of God to be like Him in many ways but when has mankind ever consciously lived with that gnosis? According to our scriptures that must have broken down right after Adam and Eve when one of their children killed another. Since then humankind couldn’t seem to pull it back together. Oh, what a wretched people we have become.

If the world would adopt this simple proverb of “each one teach one,” imagine what a radicle change could come over the entire world. Perhaps this is far too much of a dream to imagine… Perhaps if only ten percent of us did this… even five percent of the world population doing this would make such a huge difference. To God be the Glory. Selah!



Greg Middleton

Greg is a prolific writer of books, essays, blogs, and videos where he shares his opinions on life. Visit Straight Talk with Greg on YouTube.