Maybe your candidate lost. Maybe you are pro-mask and your friend despises them. And maybe—quite likely—you’ve noticed the great divide happening in neighborhoods, communities, even church congregations.
Peek inside yourself for a second. Deep down, our souls long for greater peace and unity. We cringe at the news stories and hurt because of all the hate happening on the daily. Our true spiritual selves yearn for oneness.
But what can one little spirit do to help the global cause? Can you really make a difference?
It’s simple things, my friend. Slight changes we can each make to help create an environment and society of peace. Let’s chat about the difference you can make. Yes, you.
Create a Grateful Mindset
Sociologist Georg Simmel said, “Gratitude provides the moral cohesion of humankind.” As we pause a minute and recognize just how interconnected we are, gratitude should come a little more naturally. Someone worked really hard to make the clothes on your back and harvest the potatoes on your dinner plate. Your roommate helps make rent feasible for your overpriced payment. Professors spend hours preparing so you can get the best education. Someone, somewhere, contributes to just about everything in your life.
When we focus on the good and recognize the simple things we can be grateful for, our mindset slowly changes. Gratitude can also heal our souls and deepen our spiritual wellness. “When you enter into a gratitude practice, being grateful narrows your focus to what matters most and expands your appreciation for the people in your life” (6 Ways to Start Developing a Gratitude Mindset). Our heart gets a little softer and we get a little more humble. Humility allows us to set aside resentment and pride, both negative characteristics that encourage division among friends, families, and communities. A grateful mindset is a step in the right direction to achieve unity.
Embrace the Differences
Imagine for a second walking into a musical performance, anticipating the beautiful combination of instruments—dynamic changes, sectionals, and solos intertwined for an inspirational, uplifting experience. Instead, a monotone solo from a saxophone. Blah. No variations, no harmonies, no emotion. Complete disappointment.
In music, art, and sports we welcome differences. Coaches drill teamwork. Simple art lessons teach the importance of contrast. Instruments and voices create music through harmony—different, yet beautiful. So why do we struggle to embrace differences in beliefs?
An individual’s belief system is sacred. Often a sense of pride and protection is associated with morals and values they hold near to their heart. So when we encounter someone that varies from our own beliefs, our defenses go up.
Instead, we should look for common ground. Embrace the differences and look for the harmony. Business executive and lawyer Quentin Cook shared this insight: “Unity and diversity are not opposites. We can achieve greater unity as we foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for diversity.” Together, we can grow our faith. Together, our souls can connect and ignite a spiritual fire—a fire that is often smothered by the divisions of politics, economic differences, and race. Together, we can unite a divided world.
See Others as Their True Spiritual Beings
So how do we create this “togetherness”? Remember that phrase our moms taught us: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” Thumper from Bambi deserves the credit for that wisdom…but that’s not the point. Often the secret to kindness is silence. When we can listen with our hearts and recognize others’ good intentions—despite our differences—we take a step toward unity.
Listen with your heart. Then see with spiritual eyes. Behind the loud opinions, beyond the controversial comments, underneath the trendy clothes is a soul. A soul on the same journey as you. We each seek for greater goodness. For spiritual growth and deep, grounding peace. To become.
As we allow ourselves to truly listen and see others as spiritual beings, we can accomplish unity. Our souls will break down barriers and differences. These simple steps will lead to light and love and togetherness.
“If there is light in the soul,
There is beauty in the person,
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house,
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation,
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.”
– Chinese Proverb