A lot of conversation is being bantered about these days about unity or being unified with each other. The idea of unity is very appealing to most people. If we were unified we could come together as a people living in the U.S. and live in peace with one another. But perhaps the real question is not do we want to be unified but rather what is unity? Most people would describe unity as an ability to come together in agreement with one another. While that is true it is another thing altogether to accomplish it.
Why is it so hard to come together in unity? Maybe a better question is why is it so hard to yield to one another? Yielding to one another is the inner core of unity. You simply cannot be unified with someone that you refuse to yield to. It requires listening and listening requires respect and respect requires love. Unity is a by-product of love for one another. The hard work of unity if found in love. If you can honestly say that you love your neighbors; even if you disagree with them politically or socially then you are well on your way to becoming united with them.
Love is a deliberate act to force yourself to yield to another in order to be able to listen to who they truly are as a person. If one is successful for a period of time in this self-denial one would find that there is a place for love. It really is a simple formula but difficult to accomplish because our natural tendencies as people are to be distrustful of others that are not like us. What will happen if I yield myself to another? Won’t they take advantage of me? Good questions and possibly even true. However if your goal is to accomplish unity there is no other way. The other person must actually feel your love. In this way they can begin to respect you, which in turn leads to listening to your side of things with patience, which leads to unity.
Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations that offer a quick fix to society’s problems. It takes time to listen to another person in order to gain understanding. Dropping our disagreements with each other sounds like an incredibly good idea but are we willing to do the hard work to accomplish this task?
If we are unified and in community with one another great and lasting changes can be made within our society. But if we (or our leaders) persist on discussing the issues that divide us no progress will be made in the national discussion. We will continue to be separated from one another. The courage and conviction it takes to humble oneself is the measure of great men and women and those leaders that show us by example that this is the way forward are to be followed, admired and emulated.
January 6, 2015