THE “WHAT, WHY & HOW” OF UNITY

From The Family Virtues Guide

WHAT IS UNITY?

Unity is a very powerful virtue, and it brings great strength. It is a way of seeing the universe as one. When you practice unity, you allow yourself to feel connected to everything and everyone.

Unity brings harmony, like the music made by different instruments in an orchestra. Unity doesn’t mean to be the same. A flute would never try to sound like a drum. When they are playing together, they make beautiful music. When you practice unity, you value what each part brings to the whole. With unity you can strive for harmony with your family at home and your human family around the world.

Unity brings peace. Unity means you don’t try to everyone look, think, act, or talk alike. Through the power of unity you can solve conflict. You can discover a new idea or solution that meets everyone’s needs. You can find common ground. Unity is a force so powerful it can light up the world and bring an end to war. With unity you can become a peacemaker wherever you go.

WHY PRACTICE UNITY?

People of different colors, countries, religions, sexes, and ages are part of one race—the human race.

Without unity differences scare people and drive them apart. In many parts of the world prejudice causes disunity. People hurt and even kill each other because of differences in their color, their religion, or their ideas. They have forgotten that we are all together on this planet, and that we are capable of loving each other, even if we disagree at times.

Without a sense of the unity of all life, people do things that hurt the planet, such as killing animals in a cruel way just to make money from selling their parts, or not being careful with the air and water. Without unity people treat the earth and each other as if they don’t matter.

When unity exists in one family, they help each other, listen to each other, and enjoy their different ways of being. Other feel warm and safe being around them. Unity is very powerful, because it is contagious. When one family practices unity, it can spread through the whole world.

HOW DO YOU PRACTICE UNITY?

Differences don’t have to hurt, whether in a single family or in the human family. Diversity makes life more interesting. Wouldn’t the flowers of a garden be dull if they were all the same color? Wouldn’t your family be boring if every person were just like you?

Unity within a family doesn’t mean to act or feel the same. When problems come up, you come together and listen to each other. You find a solution together. You avoid blame. Blame is never a useful starting point for dialogue. You share your feelings and ideas without holding on to them. It’s like making soup. You have to drop in your potato to let it flavor the soup. When everyone shares with detachment and trust, the results are wonderful. And everyone can be fed.

When you practice unity, you look at your prejudices and are willing to let them go. Just as every leaf on a tree has a unique design, each person on this earth is someone special. When you practice unity, you try to see the specialness in every person, not a reason to be scared or to fight, but as a gift.

When you practice unity, you treat the earth as a sacred home. You are a child of the universe, and you respect all life within it.

Unity in the family is feeling how you and others are connected. The joy of one is the joy of all. The hurt of one is the hurt of all. The honor of one is the honor of all.

What would Unity look like if…

  • You see a student in your school who wears special clothes in obedience to their religion?
  • You notice that all your friends toss their trash into the creek?
  • You become angry with a brother or sister and feel like saying hurtful things?
  • You overhear someone teasing a child of a different race and calling her names?
  • Someone tells you an ethnic joke and you are tempted to tell it to someone else?
  • The teacher gives you an assignment to do with a group?

Congratulations! You are practicing Unity when you…

  • Treat all people as members of one human family.
  • See the gifts in differences.
  • Refuse to join in when others express prejudice.
  • Solve conflict through listening and finding solutions.
  • Care for the earth and all living things.
  • Act like a peacemaker wherever you go.

Affirmation:

I am in unity with others. I appreciate differences. I do not support prejudice. I am a peacemaker. I care for the earth and all living things.

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