Daily Meditation: "Unity"
Saturday, August 15, 2020
“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head.” - Psalm 133:1-2a
As I sit here writing this, I’m hearing my wife fuming and exhaling loudly over something she’s reading on Facebook….or is it Twitter….or comments on her news feed? Whatever it is, she’s angry, frustrated, mentally, and spiritually exhausted; and it isn’t even 8 o’clock in the morning. I’m continually reminded how thankful I am that I left social media a few years ago. Can I get an “Amen,” somebody?
What she’s reacting to, as I so often did, is the discord that arises on social media from the way in which people decide to articulate their opinions on things - most often political - and then navigate through what I can only call “follow up conversation,” although it is far more vitriolic than any conversation most of us would tolerate face-to-face. The ability to dialog and ultimately gain a deeper understanding over differing points of view often breaks down very quickly, before it really even has a chance to begin. Unity, I too often found, can be a fleeting thing.
I recently had a conversation for an upcoming episode of a podcast project of mine (spoiler alert) with Representative Anna Eskamani. We talked about how she engages with people who have differing opinions about policy. She isn’t afraid to go deeper into people’s frustrations and anger to find the real crux of the issue, bring it to light and begin to find common ground. This is a true gift, and one that we all need to model more; especially those who are leaders in our communities and our nation, lest we perpetually remain in a state of polarization that exhausts and frustrates us all.
Unity, that which the psalmist deems good and pleasant and a precious oil on the head, should always be what we seek. We need to challenge ourselves and those around us to change the methodology of our dialog and be willing to step across the lines we draw and engage with one another for sake of finding common ground rather than entrenching ourselves so deeply in unmovable ideology and opinion. We can live in unity and still have our own opinions and feelings about things. It’s all about how we honor and value the diversity of our opinions while deciding that what binds us is stronger and better than that which can drive us apart.