“All for one, one for all!” (Alexandre Dumas).

ONE OF THE BEST KINDS OF ONENESS, OR UNITY, IS COMMITMENT TO A COMMON CAUSE. When two or more people place a high value on some goal, they will work together to advance that goal. They may have differences, but they will try to keep those differences from interfering with the shared goal. The group is committed to the good of each individual, and each individual is committed to the good of the group. The attitude is: all for one, one for all!

Identical robots have no trouble maintaining oneness, for they have “oneness” in the most literal sense. Manufactured to the same specifications, they have no differences. But people are not robots. They vary from one another, often radically. And so the unified pursuit of common goals is a significant challenge for human beings. We have to keep our personal preferences in their place, and we have to see which differences are unity-breakers and which are not. All of this takes wisdom, and wisdom is an exceedingly hard thing to acquire.

But there are many worthy goals to which we may commit ourselves, and the higher up the scale of worthiness we go, the bigger a difference would have to be to keep us from working together. If a goal is perceived as being important enough, it will outrank almost any difference. For example, when one nation is attacked militarily by another nation, its citizens will set aside almost every private difference in order to defend themselves against the public foe.

It should be obvious that oneness requires humility and unselfishness. If I am so bent on advancing my personal agenda that I am willing to ride over you roughshod, then you and I will probably not be able to work together for very long. But if I am willing to subordinate my personal preferences to yours — and even make sacrifices for the sake of your desires — then oneness is a possibility in our work.

It is often surprising to see what obstacles can be overcome when people are unified in their labors. There is a transformative power that comes from working together that almost never comes from individual effort. This does not come from fake or pretended oneness, but when the unity is real, the results are electrifying.

“Weak things united become strong” (English Proverb).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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