5/13/20245 min read

a group of people standing on top of a sandy beach
a group of people standing on top of a sandy beach

This article was featured in the Girl Behind the Fence series.
These books and more written and edited by Deborah can be found on her Amazon Author page.

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.”  Mahatma Gandhi
In the depths of what is happening to us in our local communities, our states, our country and also the entire world, I think we can all agree on some level that our civilization is being tested.
Who has rights?  Whose rights are being violated or trampled?  Can we disagree without anger violence?  Does anyone ever agree to just disagree and then crack open a beer for the rest of the evening?  Are you still connected to friends, to church or synagogue or community group?  Are you still a part of a family, either biologically or one you manifested yourself.  Or do you see it all falling apart?
The concept of unity is a tricky one for me.  First, I am a loner.  I like hanging with people for stimulating conversation sporadically, but most of the time, I am content to be alone in my own thoughts or with just a friend for a short period of time.  My husband and I can spend hours in a car, driving across country and barely speak and I think these are some of my happiest times.  Is that unity?  For me, the answer is yes.
The common idea of unity is absence of diversity, oneness of mind or feeling, among a NUMBER of person. Harmony.  Agreement.
Unity is of utmost importance for society as well as the whole country. “Strength is always with Unity” is a popular phrase and it is true to its every word. Unity represents togetherness. Therefore, it is standing together for every thick and thin matter.  But does everyone have to agree?  And if there is room for disagreement, how much is allowed before there is no longer unity? Ten percent?  Five Percent?  Fifty percent?  Zero percent? 
But there is another definition of unity.  And it is about the sums of the parts as a whole and the continuity of the parts and what they result in.
Unity: a combination or ordering of parts in a literary or artistic production that constitutes a whole or promotes an undivided total effect also: the resulting singleness of effect or symmetry and consistency of style and character
 : a totality of related parts  
: an entity that is a complex or systematic whole
This definition gives us an entire idea of unity.  How can we relate and be different?  Be at different stages in our lives or have different levels of education or understanding.  Be of different spiritual beliefs and ideologies. 
The answer is quite simple.  The only thing the group has to truly agree on is WHAT the group stands for, what goals does the group want to achieve and What lines will they NOT cross to achieve to get to the end goal.
Growing up, I had very few examples of unity.  My family always seemed at cross purposes and the rare times they joined together was when one member was in trouble.  Then a few of the family would help to solve the problem.  Frankly, when I was grown, I realized something shocking.  This unity, even under the worst of times was for the benefit of the individuals.  They were protecting themselves from having to deal with a bigger problem or from having to deal with shame or family embarrassment.  This was unity at its [DR1] worst.
Imagine if all that effort were working together daily as a family focused on the growing and developing of the family and the future generations.  A very broken, worn down family could have maybe been a great family with future generations expanding these skills into a making, not just the family, but the communities and cities they lived in much better places.  And to give you an idea of what I am talking about, me just writing this makes me a person who is under suspicion and the general black sheep of the family for exposing family secrets, even though I have not said one thing about one person in my family.  I broke their unity by being critical and offering the concept we could things better.
I think the idea of unity has been much confused with what is actually “like-mindedness” If you look at most groups, they all agree about what the group stands for.  It can be politics or religion or even race.  Isn’t racism broken down to its simplest form, just the belief that one group is better than another?  And being better has its own privileges and rewards?
Unity Now becomes complicated.  I like you.  We both agree that people are deserving of certain things.  Certain rights.  But how do we act on these things agree on?  You want anarchy and war.  I want education and peaceful talks.  And another person we just brought into our unified group wants laws and punishment.  Are we still unified even though we agree on what the goal is?
So you are probably thinking right now that I am talking in circles.  And to be honest, I sometimes feel like a dog chasing his tail.  I sometimes find myself just screaming in my head, “Can’t we all just get along?”
The truth is, it is hard to be in unity with people when you are in very different places in your education, your life, your responsibilities.  It is hard, but not impossible.  But people have to want to.  And like water, it is much easier to seek your own level with like-minded people than to rise higher without being forced to or committed to doing so.  So we continue to see special interest groups, and anarchist groups, and racists groups, and political groups with agendas that are more conflicting than uplifting.
Knowledge is very contradictory and conflicting and we are a society of learning.  Wisdom would simplify us into a level of unity that would solve many problems. 
I started with Gandhi and so I end with Gandhi - “The golden way is to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family as one.”
If I see you and you see me as an extension of our own world, a world that is one, unity becomes a necessity for survival, not a question to be pondered upon in a book or explored in an article.  I resonate strongly with the wolf.  That is for another story.  But because of my bond, I will leave you with this thought – “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”  – Rudyard Kipling