The more aware a nation is of its unity, and the more this unity is borne by specific spiritual principles, the more prominent will be the place of symbols and symbolic acts in its political and religious life. Conversely, if a people's sense of unity is weak, if they do not feel bound together by a common history or a common purpose… if the nation accords first place instead to the personal concerns, ideas and aspirations of the individual, then symbols and symbolic acts will increasingly vanish from that nation's political and religious life. In that case, too, the awareness of commonly held principles, and practical cooperation to translate those principles into reality, will also cease in that nation. This fact has been documented in history, both ancient and modern.—Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Jewish Symbolism, p. 7, Feldheim pocket edition. While R' Hirsch was speaking primarily about the Jewish people, his point is valid for everyone.