The Necessity of Unity
Unity appears to be slowly dissolving before our very eyes. The common response in almost every situations seems to be argument and belittlement rather than being uplifting and unifying. We have made being right more important than cultivating relationships. There appears to be divisiveness in every aspect of our society and unfortunately this road does not end well. We were created for relationships and the more we separate ourselves from deep and meaningful community, the more we lose a little bit of our soul.
But all is not not lost. You can still break the chains of cultural norms and become a unifier instead of a divider. Radical steps and thinking will be a necessity, which could revolutionize all of your relationships. You just need to be cognizant of a few key points in your journey toward unity.
We All Long to Belong
Everyone has a deep Longing to Belong. There is a deep seeded desire in the depth of our souls to be apart of something bigger than ourselves and experience it with others. Sociologist call it connection: wanting to belong to something much greater than our own confined world. As macho, cool, and independent as we think we are, we have a longing to be known by others. This is why we go watch sporting events with groups all wearing the same jersey. The phenomenon and popularity of companies like Harley Davidson or Starbucks. They are not selling a product, but a community experience. We want to experience life in some fashion with others.
At some point in all of our lives we desperately tried to fit in. To be associated with something, to be apart of something, or be in the inner circle. For most of us that time was called Junior High and was a disaster. But it can happen in any stage of life. We buy new clothes, go to new places, be seen here or there, drive a certain type of car, or buy a bigger house. All of these things give us the false security of belonging or hoping that we can fit in with the cool people. This was our attempt at belonging, but unfortunately we tried all the wrong approaches.
I encourage you to find that one place where you can belong. A community group, class, church, sporting event, or book club. Then go all in. There will be disagreements, differing of opinions, and changing ideas. But how can you look at your time there as an investment? To truly attach yourself to something greater than anything you could do alone.
We are All Crazy!
You are weirder than you think! Let’s face it folks, you think you are the only “normal” person on the face of the earth, and everybody else is a little off. You somehow can justify your own little idiosyncrasies, but when it comes to other people, what they do is totally unacceptable. But if you are going to live in community you need to understand this little phenomenon to see how, even though you are all a little off, you can live together
Over my years of counseling a wide variety of individuals and doing some of my own self-perspetive, I have learned one thing. We are all crazy! I think it is just how our crazy is exhibited which is the dividing line. But the reality is we all have some issue, pain, or problem which affects our lives. And most of us are living our lives the best we can in the midst of our problems, issues, pains, and confusion. But our lives were never meant to be lived in this tumultuous state in isolation of others.
The best medicine for crazy is to get a little help from your friends. For one thing you will realize you are not alone. Many of the people around you are probably dealing with the similar craziness of life as you. But even more important, you find a tribe or fellowship to journey through this life together. Life is hard! It is very challenging with problems, wars, famine, finances, job, family, and future. Any dangerous journey is better travelled in the midst of good company. Then your “challenging journey” becomes an adventure your can reflect upon fondly.
Relationships Over Being Right
You don’t have to live long on this earth to experience hurt by another individual. When people are involved hurt is not far behind. So how do we get close to people without getting hurt? This is the real question and why most people shun close relationships. When attempting to live together and the understanding we are all crazy, you have to realize you are going to get hurt. And you will probably hurt others. But the reward is worth the risk.
The idea is to put the relationship first. What this means is the integrity and unity of the relationship is more important than ideology, opinion, or you being right.
I have counseled many marriages in trouble. Time and time again I have a couple sitting across from me discussing an argument they had recently. Ironically most of the arguments were extremely petty and inconsequential in the grand scheme of life. It usually centered around a story or event where one individual thought the other person did not get the facts straight. When the event happened, where it happened, or who was there? Until one individual demands they are right and now they are mad and not talking to each other. What use is it to be right when you are no longer talking to one another.
Relationships matter far more than being right about facts in a story. Or that your opinion matters more than someone else’s. Our society is filled with individual thoughts and personalities and this is what makes us so great. Instead of demeaning, shutting out, or blocking others opinions, we need to learn to celebrate the differences for the sole purpose of our relationships.
Even in our closest relationships, we are going to have issues or ideas which we disagree upon. But we need to pursue unity in all we do. The term “we” is indicative of acceptance in the face of disagreement. To be united in the face of adversity. For we can do far more united, in every circumstance, than we can ever do divided.
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