Author’s note: This call to unite is not:
- An attempt to bash the United States of America. Contrarily, I proudly serve as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. My service has afforded me many opportunities that have allowed me to open my aperture and further develop my perspective.
- An expression of some form of political affiliation. I will remain apolitical throughout the entire post.
Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.Matthew 12:25 NLT
Where we are now
I do not enjoy watching or reading the news. Instead of reporting to inform, many stories are developed to simply highlight our differences in a way that polarizes our opinions, beliefs, characteristics, and values. Recent history informs us that our country has fought to eradicate racial segregation. Even so, a more dangerous and complex form of segregation has emerged. We find ourselves segregated by race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, and more. The danger in this form of segregation lies in its covertness. It is shielded by our conscious and unconscious biases and driven by our inability or unwillingness to unite. It is time that we expose all forms of submersible segregation and work together towards achieving common goals. I envision that the road to unity requires a three-phased approach that each of us can implement into our daily affairs.
Phase 1: Community.
I believe to develop “community,” we must assemble people with diverse thoughts, behaviors, and experiences into the same physical (or virtual) area. This requires each member of the newly-assembled team to be open-minded and willing to actively listen to understand–forgoing any preconceived notions. Everyone must be willing to apply the timeless advice that transcends generations: you have two ears and one mouth to listen twice as much as you talk.
Phase 2: Togetherness.
Togetherness begins with establishing commonalities. This requires all parties to listen to understand vice listen to respond. Additionally, everyone should respect others’ opinions and feelings while maintaining an unwavering determination to collaboratively work towards shared goals. This does not mean we should agree on everything. Contrarily, I believe respectful disagreements based upon our varying perspectives creates a more well-rounded and thoroughly discussed solution. The differences each person brings to the team strengthens the collaborative effort unless those differences are highlighted for personal gain. Ultimately, togetherness is all about respect and ensuring that regardless of everyone’s background or beliefs, we are all working towards a common goal.
Phase 3: Unity.
Unity is the intangible bond that is developed over time from consistent collaborative efforts. It is an agreement that no matter the circumstance, our community will consistently work together towards a solution. Though some sources may attempt to persuade you otherwise and though some exist simply to cause division, unity is achievable. It requires and indestructible will and relentless focus on progression and collaboration. It requires each member of the community to think less of themselves and more about the betterment of the team as a whole.
If unity is the ultimate goal then we must uproot all forms of segregation and bias. We must not shy away from discussing the topics that divide us; for if we do, hatred, division, and segregation will continue to spread like weeds and strangle all hopes of collaboration and unity.
This weekend, we celebrate independence as a country; however, the people must become unified to maintain that independence. So as we celebrate our fight for independence, I urge you to join a new fight–the fight to unite. Remember this: it’s hard to win a battle when you view the battlefield from only your perspective, and it’s impossible to win a battle when you misidentify the enemy. The enemy is segregation, and we are better together. Let’s fight!
Take Action: Spark a conversation with someone who shares a different opinion or perspective. Learn about them and seek to understand what forms their opinion. Listen intently and ask open-ended questions only to get a better understanding. The fight to unite begins with you!
The ultimate terrorist strategy would be to just leave the country alone. That way, America’s ugliest partisan tendencies could emerge unimpeded by the unifying effects of war.Tribe, Sebastian Junger
Feel free to like, share, comment, debate with me, etc. Most importantly, let’s continue the conversation!
4 thoughts on “Divided We Fall: A Call to Unite the [un]United States”
Wowow! 👏🏾 Well said! 👏🏾
Thank you sisiota!
Beautifully thought and expressed, Olaolu! Thank you for sharing your vision. Our country is so divided now and your thoughtful words resonated with me. We accomplish nothing if we stand on opposite sides of the fence shouting unwilling to listen. Not everyone, however, wants unity. Many want to dominate and control and in this case, what do those of us, who want unity, do? That’s the part that paralyses me.
Marilyn, thank you very much. It is always a pleasure to hear from you! I share your frustration when faced with those who simply want division. If they are a part of my team, I quickly remove them because I know the negative attitude/actions spread quickly.
Of course it is not as easy when they aren’t on my team. In that case, I usually take a less direct approach with the “divider.” I listen intently to what they say and take copious notes about their actions. When the opportunity presents itself (usually in a group setting) I present an idea or provide a perspective using the divider’s logic. Very rarely will you persuade that person, but you can give credence to your efforts for the rest of the group (similar to adding a counterargument to an argumentative research paper). Also, using the divider’s logic often deflates his or her argument which, in turn, reduces his or her ability to dominate or control the conversation.
Once the majority believes unity is achievable, the divider’s opinions and actions become more of an annoyance than an effective tactic.