United in our differences

Last night I watched Olympic athletes march into a grand arena. They were from many different countries. They held in their hearts many different beliefs. Skin, hair, eye color? A gorgeous assortment! Culture, faith, political opinions? A glorious variety! So what, then, did they have in common?

They had worked hard to get there. And they respected their competitors.

So…a huge variety of people with a common goal could meet in one location. And cheer…for themselves, for each other. And respect themselves…and each other. Nobody thinks this is impossible because we know it absolutely is possible. It’s done regularly. It’s done when the common goal becomes more important than the individual.

It’s done when we are united in our differences instead of attempting to erase all differences and THEN be united.

Quote time.

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.   ~Ryunosuke Satoro

We get that, obviously, when it comes to large events like the Olympics. Everyone unites to prepare a venue, to assure the security of the athletes, to delight in their prowess. Do we cheer more for our team, representing our country? Well…sure. But do we also watch and applaud greatness no matter its source?

Oh, yes, we do. And if we can do that, why can’t we take the concept to another level?

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

~Nelson Mandela

What will it take for us all to realize that we’re better…far, far better…united than we are divided? What will it take for us to embrace the reality that our differences are outweighed by the humanity that joins us together? It’s a big thing, yes, but it doesn’t have to start with a big effort. Maybe a gentle recognition that everyone carries a bit of divinity within…the source, the lovely energy from which we all began. No matter what name we give that source, no matter what faith practice we use to celebrate that source.

That divinity within is what unites us in our differences. That light, the precious energy of life, glows inside us and if we look for that glow we might find ourselves looking past skin color, past cultural background, past language, past political beliefs. Those things? They aren’t what matters. But the light of divinity within?

Oh, it matters so much. And recognition of that light will unite us.

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