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Something to Think About: Why Does One Have to be Naïve to Believe In Unity?

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Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –

 

new michael vaughnI am sure if you are a regular reader of this column, there may have been some things I’ve said that you’ve agreed with, and some things I may have said that you’ve disagreed with.

There may also have even been some things I’ve said that have made you very upset.

But, regardless of how you’ve felt, you’ve continued to come back and read this column.

Maybe it’s because you’ve realized that, regardless of our positions, we may have a few common things on which we can agree. One of those things may be that we need to think, and not just act!

It is our lack of thought which causes us to believe that those who believe in unity are naive. People tend to act without thinking, thereby moving with emotion, causing us to look upon unity as only a distant ideal.

However, I was inspired recently by the National Day of Prayer Initiative led by Bishop David Singleton.

The event was held on May 4 this year, and, during the observance, I watched all those who attended display various demonstrations of unity in a number of different ways.

I even saw Democrats and Republicans come together around a common purpose: prayer.

It may be naïve to think this unity might continue after the National Day of Prayer, once reality begins to set in and the polarizing ways of politics and emotion start to take over. But, if we can come together around prayer, why can’t we come together around receiving the answers to those prayers?

It is not enough to unite to pray for our cities, towns, county, state, country and world. We should also stay united to see the solutions come to pass.

The thing about God is that He rarely answers our prayers without our participation in finding the solutions. Therefore, if we are going to see our prayers come to pass, we should embrace some naivete, and stay united.

The very nature of unity is the state of being one; bringing diverse elements together around a common goal.

But, we will find no common ground, or the long-lasting answers to our problems, if we don’t achieve unity first.

The reason some people believe unity is a concept that is naïve is because it requires folks to compromise, in favor of the common good.

For example, the U.S. House of Representatives has recently passed a bill to repeal Obamacare. And, since then, the topic of universal health care has been extremely polarizing.

However, if we take step back, we can see the underlying goal is something that all parties should be able to agree with, which is the desire for Americans to have affordable health care.

The only issue is how to make that happen. However, if we stay focused on our goal, and if all involved stakeholders are willing to give a little, we can indeed accomplish the task.

Usually, in politics, there is this sense that we mustn’t give up anything – and that goes for Democrats and Republicans.

The concept of unity was severely tested (and indeed, continues to be) after the 2016 Presidential election.

There were those who would have been content (and probably even demanded to be unified) if their candidate had been elected.

But, now that their candidate has lost, they have not been willing to unite behind the person who was legally and legitimately elected as president.

What we should have in common, regardless of who has been elected president, is that we are Americans.

We should also have implicit trust in our system of laws, as well as trust that, in order for our democratic process to survive, we must be unified around our core beliefs.

Yet, people are allowing their emotions to go against what has been central to this nation since its founding.

Unity is a concept which must not be relegated only to the naïve.

If we are going to get anything accomplished that is significant, we are going to have to find common ground, stay focused on the goal, and be willing to compromise a little.

It can happen; we just have to be willing to be a bit naïve!

If you would like to contact me, please email me at mvaughn.seniorpastor@newwineskin.org.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)

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