Unity—Is That What We Really Want?

Unity—Is That What We Really Want?
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I don’t.

There’s no way I want to be unified with white supremacists or Nazis. Or people who are devoted to pushing others down in the false hope that they will stand taller. Or with anyone who takes delight in others’ suffering.

I refuse to unify with anyone whose baseline is rooted in hate.

So…yeah. Unity? Not so much. Enough with the calls for unity. Our country is too divided to unite. Just take a look at social media and see the derision, vitriol, and malice in the tweets, posts, comments, memes…I’m not interested in being “united” with such folks.

For crying out loud, even Scott Baio—who I confess I had a crush on in my teenybopper days—can’t stop running his mouth and smugly antagonizing those he disagrees with—even denigrating victims of Sandy Hook!

What the heck is this world coming to when Chachi turns out to be a bully?

As I’ve said before, I believe that our culture’s efforts to be politically correct resulted in a nasty byproduct. Yes, many of us learned that some things we say make others hurt in ways we were unaware of—and the new understanding often helps sensitivity and compassion grow. But for those who genuinely hold hateful beliefs against others, the societal pressure to be PC merely smothers the talk and makes it go “underground.” It doesn’t go away—it just foments and finds like-minded others to substantiate their views. In some instances, it doesn’t go underground at all.

And now that the person in our highest office—I can’t believe I’m about to write this—actually encourages pitting people against each other…the underground is becoming a very present “above ground.”

Scary times. Very scary.

I have no desire to unify on this front. Do you?

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So what do we do?

Will we forever be the Divided States of America?

I’d like this little few hundred-word post to be able to offer some words of hope, but I just don’t know anymore.

I really don’t.

What I see—particularly on social media—is a frightening mob mentality that reminds me of a schoolyard bully striking a blow at his target while his lackeys cheer and goad him on to take another swing. Times millions.

Divisive issues pop up every day and become the latest reason to throw a punch.

It happens so frequently that we are becoming desensitized to the travesty that makes the news (fake news?!) every day. The “new norm” sets the bar lower and lower until it’s resting in the gutter.

I guess I know what we need to do. I mean, I know what we’re supposed to need to do. We need to persist at pushing back and fighting against the hate that is grabbing hold and tearing us further and further apart.

But that’s hard to do when so often I find myself heartbroken and shaking my head—and my fist—at the latest news cycle. It’s overwhelming.

Nevertheless…I know the answer is to persist and not give up.

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The rallying cry of Winston Churchill comes to mind…

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

And then Pope Francis…

We have observed that, in society and the world in which we live, selfishness has increased more than love for others, and that men of good will must work, each with his own strengths and expertise, to ensure that love for others increases until it is equal and possibly exceeds love for oneself.

And Martin Luther King Jr…

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

And Mother Teresa…

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

And Barack Obama…

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

So we must remember…not to surrender…ensure that love for others increases…believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word…we belong to each other…and we are the change that we seek.

No—false unity is not the answer. Perseverance, love, truth, and flat out hard work is what it will take to move us toward “a more perfect union.”

Nothing revelatory here…just the truth I needed to remind myself of today. And…maybe you, too?

This piece was originally posted on The Juggle Struggle.

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