“It’s not in numbers, but in unity that our greatest strength lies.”—Thomas Paine A Cohesive Future A lion prowled in a field occupied by four bulls. He repeatedly tried to attack them but to no avail. Whenever the lion a...
“It’s not in numbers, but in unity that our greatest strength lies.”—Thomas Paine
A Cohesive Future
A lion prowled in a field occupied by four bulls.
He repeatedly tried to attack them but to no avail. Whenever the lion approached, they turned their tails to one another — so from whichever direction he advanced, he was met by their horns.
However, one day a quarrel broke out amongst the bulls, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field.
Soon after the lion charged, killing all four bulls one by one.
Aesop’s fable depicts how strength in numbers can deceive the most cunning of attackers.
‘United we stand, divided we fall’ as the aphorism states.
There have been countless changes in recent times that have left people demoralised and uncertain about the world to come.
These changes highlight the instability of world and economic conditions.
The cynic will focus their attention on the negativity. The optimist however, realises it is laying the groundwork for something more important to emerge.
Upheaval has existed throughout history, taking on the form of economic and political conflicts, and changing with it the landscape of mankind.
I believe that what is taking place now is paving the way for reform in the expected future.
It is remiss of me to predict what changes will arise, as I have little idea where they will lead. But based on history, something significant is bound to be unfolding.
During times of uncertainty, people overreact and experience anxiety because they are consumed by the problem and not prepared to wait for events to settle.
Our negativity bias sets in because we are unaware of what is taking place behind the scenes; whether desirable or unfavourable.
Now more than ever, we must unify our efforts and set aside our cultural diversity, religion and socio-economic backgrounds to build a cohesive future.
Instead of being dictated to by our differences, we must find commonalities in order to flourish beyond the next century.
I am not speaking of a new world order because where there are gains in terms of power, economic greed is bound to be present.
“The consciousness of unity, cooperation, and reverence for life and the planet will be one of the most significant influences upon society as we approach the challenges and uncertainties of twenty-first-century living,” affirms author Dennis Merritt Jones in Your Redefining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be.
What I am proposing is to restore your power rather than pretend you are insignificant and are being taken advantage of by the prevailing political scene.
This is not about opposing governments nor overthrowing the establishment, but centres on something much simpler: redeeming your authority as individuals.
The Power Of One
You may think there’s little you can do. Nevertheless, I wish to remind you of those throughout history who have influenced society through their single-minded commitment.
Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela all created a new paradigm for peace, equality and non-violence. They laid the framework that shaped our perspective as citizens of the world.
So, what does unity look like?
For one, it does not involve protesting because you oppose what is already contested. Instead, it means uniting on matters via a peaceful stance, however small that might be.
“Even the weak become strong when they are united.” — Friedrich von Schiller
The size of your protest is not indicative of its potential to be heard.
The consistency of the message, however, determines its significance.
For instance, some who oppose climate change suggest it is fabricated propaganda while environmental scientists suggest global warming is a serious threat.
It is difficult for the ordinary person to make sense of the truth. For behind the rhetoric of misinformation and misguided people, are those intent to capitalise personally and economically.
Unity means joining together as a world population around common values, not for economic reasons alone.
These comprise the refugee crisis, climate change, unemployment, gender equality, international trade and relations and health care, to single out just a few.
I enjoy author Gregg Braden’s perspective in his book Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer: “On the other hand, if we can view ourselves from a perspective of unity, appreciation, wisdom, and love, then these are the qualities that we may expect to see mirrored as loving, supportive families and communities, and peace and cooperation between nations.”
We must put aside our indifferences, our intolerances, our prejudices, our hate, our ambivalence and inaction to stand for what is important.
We must think globally and act locally, knowing full well it will impact others around the world.
It starts with compassionate thoughts towards our fellow man, echoed by the Dalai Lama who said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.”
We must avoid thinking about what is wrong with other races, religions or groups of people. That is a defeatist belief because we fixate on trivial matters and fail to consider an integrated outlook.
Unity Is The Answer
It was Scottish businessman Thomas Dewar who said, “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open.”
We must keep an open mind and not hold so firmly to our opinions, presuming we are right and others are wrong.
Nothing is certain, even your own views and beliefs are subject to interpretation.
You might ask, if I cannot stand by my opinions how will I recognise what is important anymore?
It lies in seeing past them to embrace the unity of the whole rather than the fragmented parts.
“The small mind always perceives separation, but we are never separated from the Great Mind. The unconscious, on the other hand, is able to perceive the connectedness and unity of all that exists,” avows author Colette Baron Reid in Uncharted: The Journey Through Uncertainty to Infinite Possibility.
To focus on smaller matters is easy because it seems we are making progress, yet it detracts from what is important to the whole of humanity.
I invite you to stop thinking of yourself as alienated and consider yourself to be the ocean instead of the drop in the ocean.
This way, you are likely to pay attention to the bigger picture and your efforts will reflect this, leading to unification.
Alternative medicine advocate and author Larry Dossey M.D reminds us in One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters, “Individuality is a valuable complement to connectedness and unity, but in excess it can lead to an overblown sense of self and obstruct the felt realization that we are united with one another and all things. Or, as D. H. Lawrence trenchantly put it, “Hate is not the opposite of love, the opposite of love is individuality.”
We must not succumb to the influence of hate, injustice, bigotry and violence just because our species will be defined by this ideology in the years to come.
We must transcend our divided parts and concentrate on the whole because unity is what holds the key to humanity’s freedom.