Saturday, May 31, 2008


How many of you know what unity really means? Without looking it up give it a definition in your mind. Stick with your first guess, or hunch. From Latin, the root is unitas, which means oneness.

The dictionary is succinct, usually and has this to say…

u·ni·ty / Pronunciation Key
the state of being one; oneness.

That pretty much sums it up. To be united or to have unity is to have oneness. With that said how many of the fractions that make up your life are unified? Do you have oneness in your family? How about at work? How about among your friends? What about when you drive?

In order to answer those questions we should first ask if the definition is clear as it relates to your life. Are you one with your family? Are you one with your spouse, or your kids, or your parents or even your siblings? If we were studying psychology we could even ponder whether or not you were one with yourself, but that might be a tad deep for this round.

I can tell you right now that I am not at one with my family. I can also tell you that I am finding it harder to be one with my friends. All in all, unity is elusive and the struggle is not in the definition but more the application. Somewhere inside those five letters is a much bigger word known as compromise (which is important to note is a settlement of issues and not a giving in as some would have you believe).

com·pro·mise / / Pronunciation Key
a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.

When there is not unity but there are people who share it as a goal, compromise is the term (and the method) used to reach the goal. People must settle their issues, reach an agreement and then unity can be achieved. This process can be repeated at work, in the home or even at a family reunion. In some circles the terms “problem solving” or “conflict resolution” are used to convey the same thing. The first step is to define and label the problem or conflict, then take steps to reach a solution that ALL can agree on. Commonly there is one or more sides that must compromise.

To achieve unity we need to compromise. But in order to compromise we need to converse with each other. (I know, we have to talk to each other….eeewww.)

For some of us, speaking to other people is downright scary and yet without a conversation with another human being we cannot get to the heart of any matter. The minute we try without talking to each other is the minute that everything goes wrong. Assumptions are made and we go around putting words in peoples mouths.

The hard part about talking to each other however, is that usually it only involves people we know. We need to reach out to the strangers in our lives.

When we seek to converse and commune with others who are like we are, it only goes to embody the truth that we shun others who are not like us. Therefore an invisible wall is erected, a barrier of sorts that is clearly visible between people who are different from each other. If we seek out others with which we have common ground, conversation has a basis, or a starting place.

This is typically more difficult when two people have nothing in common. In order to talk to someone who is different from you, there has to be a human interest on the part of at least one of the two.

So here is the really important part. You have to show an interest in another human that you don’t know and then seek to talk to them. In the midst of any conversation there are going to be commonalities as well as differences, we are all different. The point is that without that conversation we go on with our lives trying to inject our views without any understanding of how they might affect others.

Unity is not really that hard of a concept to wrap your mind around. It is attainable but it is going to require some work. If we sit back and think for one second that someone else will do it so we don’t have to we are going to fail. Unity can start with you and me. We can seek to converse, find the differences and then work on a few compromises.

You and I are not perfect. Remember that about the rest of the world. We are all trying to get a little better as we go along but we still make mistakes. Understanding that is a real key.

Swallow the pride, let go of the great big ego and find someone to chat with.


My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.


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