Accept the Challenge: Find Unity in Community

I’ve noticed that a lot of news reporting,
magazine articles and literature focus on separation and division.  In addition to believing that drama sells,
those who decide what’s print and TV worthy have voted to draw attention to
discrimination, hatred and prejudice.  In
the spiritual world, life is made of reflection, reaction and resound.  The world mirrors back what we perceive.  One who wears pink tinted glasses will see
all life in pink (la vie en rose).  The media wears glasses that divide
everything and everyone into categories and boxes. It sees rampant
discrimination even though we’re in a world more tolerant than ever, a world
that the Dalai Lama says is increasing in love and compassion.  The theme of division is dead.  The new theme for the 21st century, in fact
the only theme that will allow us to survive, is unity.

            The
basis and great spiritual aspiration of the U.S.
nation is summed up in one of its first mottos set out by the founders who
sensed a higher spiritual calling though they were not in times where they
could realize it fully – E Pluribus
Unum. 
From the many one.”  It doesn’t mean that all of us must be
homogenous, but we must begin in earnest to look for what unifies us.  We have many more things in common that unite
us than separate us.  We all have hearts
that beat.  We all respond to love and
want to be loved.  We all yearn for
happiness and purpose.  When we identify
with the heart of individuals and work and communicate heart to heart, then
only unity prevails.  The energy of love
and the spirit of humility and service, of considering others and wanting what
is best for them, take hold and we move forward in a wave of goodness.

            Differences
may exist but they can be resolved in an atmosphere of peace and harmony when
we look for the bonds that unite us. 
This approach requires letting go of mindsets where we imagine how the
other is thinking and perceiving.  It requires
humility, respect for the other, and a deep wish for the well being of all.  In spiritual speak it means seeing God in all
– especially in those people who we have the most trouble with.  When we look deep into the heart of the
other, a light shines that will understand and respond.  By speaking to this light and fanning the
flame of love there, it will grow and understanding between people and
communities will grow as well.

            A
lovely French fable by La Fontaine speaks to the power of flexibility and tolerance.  He compares the reed and the oak in
strength.  The giant oak stands tall and
strong over the land, but when the tempest arises, the oak breaks and the
simple, bending reed is the one that remains steadfast and continues to grow.

A community that
focuses on the good, a community where all participants make an effort to
accept themselves and each other and to grow, can build resilience and
heath.  In the days and years ahead, I
challenge you to change the focus – keep your eye and heart fixed on unity, not
division.  Unity reveals the underlying
truth. It’s a constructive basis to build on. 
Separation brings added misery. 
Whether writing, working in business, raising a family, constructing a
home or highway, working as a cashier or caring for others, keep this always in
mind – beneath the apparent illusion of separation, remember our great
motto.  We are all One.

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