Welcome to the first column of Unity in the Community. We will try, at least once a month, to give some insight, ideas and more focused on unity.
Understand, the idea of unity is not intended to be entrenched in sameness. That would be an easy task, often happening without effort or forethought. Unity focuses on embracing differences. Once you embrace differences, accepting them as having value and viability, then and only then can we truly conceive of having unity.
When the idea of Unity in the Community was first conceptualized, we never thought it would be easy. We understood there was a long, hard, unpaved road ahead. In a sense, we were embarking on a road to truth, knowing few have the courage to endure the pain that it brings. Steadfastly, we willingly ventured into the gated communities of this city, race, religion, socioeconomic areas, families, and all the cliques long established and supporting the lifestyles of former enslaved people for more than a century.
In reality, far too many people are comfortable living within the limitations of what is, rather than willingly exploring what could be by opening our minds and hearts to those we see as different.
Expressions of love make this possible. Reaching out to love our fellow man without judgment and criticism is loving unconditionally. Unconditional love and acceptance leads to understanding and, eventually, a broader world view. Love is the emotion in mankind that bridges all gaps of difference and brings true unity. Within that difference, we can discover we have many things that really are somewhat alike.
People are so locked into families, churches, schools of higher education and even continuing racial segregation, to the extent of enforcing either you are one of us or you are an outsider.
People are ego-tripping. Walk like me, think like me, speak my language or you will remain an outsider. Do people really want unity, or do they not trust in the concept? Where is your faith when it is time to forge a new future? What kind of future are we preparing for our children when we do not show them what real unity is? They also will not be interested in unity, and therefore, they will not create unity and our legacy will continue through them.
Remember, “We are more alike than unalike … and we spend more time focusing on our differences, instead of discovering or likenesses.”
The Buttses are co-founders of Unity in the Community.