“There is more power in unity than division.” Emanuel Cleaver
We live divided. Divided by gender, race, politics, religion, money – but especially from one another. While division is in some way natural because we each want to feel we’re independent, division weakens us all. It creates competition, hatred and has us root ourselves deeper in our positions. And although it’s easy to focus on our differences and take hold of our personal views, the more we remain divided as humans – the more we collectively lose. We may not realize it, but most of us are looking outside ourselves to define who we are – to validate what we believe or feel. If someone doesn’t match that view or experience, we immediately deny and hide in fear. The thing is, that kind of thinking leads to stagnation. Just because we may not understand one another doesn’t mean that we must quash or stop what we don’t get. Unity on the other hand, seeks understanding. It seeks compassion and conversation. It looks for solution. When we see how we’re really more similar than we are different, we no longer insist that we all must look, sound or live alike. We learn to accept one another and our own respective beliefs – without insistence. And that doesn’t mean that we give up or resign, not at all. It simply means that we find common ground in our similarities so that it becomes easier to have dialog and let go of the hate within us. Because hate ultimately eats at us, not the other person. Unity makes us each of us powerful because when we find common ground we can build bridges. It is born out of love, not difference. And ultimately, being able to find unity makes us feel better - it brings us joy because when we’re not so busy protecting ourselves, we can feel relaxed and peace.
Weekly Path to Peace: Find the power in unity.
- Politics are only one the areas in which division is showing up in our world. If you’ve experienced difficulty or found yourself pointing fingers this week, begin with seeing how you can find unity – even with just one person. Look too where the division you see in the world is mirroring itself in your personal life. Identify all the ways you divide yourself from others – from your spouse, friends, co-workers, anyone. And focus on how it makes you feel.
- Spend at least 15-20 minutes this week finding unity with someone who is “different” from you. Whether it’s within the community or the world, really look for ways in which you are similar to that person. See what feelings come up for you as you do this exercise. Do you find yourself more peaceful or accepting? Use this exercise anytime you feel yourself judging, blaming or pointing fingers at another.
As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.