An answer to polarization

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Polarization of opinion at any level can chill relations between people and can stall progress. To me, these problems beg for a spiritual solution.

I once managed a group of 16 workers who broke into a severe disagreement as to who should do what in a major project of theirs. The workers took sides and refused to listen to another point of view. Tempers flared and resentment built. Soon they weren't talking with one another.

When I discovered the severity of the trouble, I decided that my first response had to be spiritual.

It didn't matter who was right; the feelings were so negative between the workers that if one side got its way, the other side would have been furious, and vice versa. The group needed to feel the unifying influence of the one Mind, God, which I figured in turn would inspire them to work together and find a solution that each side could accept.

From my study of Christian Science, I'd learned that there is one all- knowing, all-wise Mind at work in this universe. As Job wrote about the divine power, "He is in one mind, and who can turn him?" (Job 23:13). I prayed for the oneness of Mind, or God, to be felt among my employees.

Mind is the source of all good ideas. Music, poetry, inspired prose, skills, good policy, and more are all evidences of the divine Mind leading humanity to higher levels of creativity, thinking, and living. As God's offspring, we each express this Mind, and in an unlimited number of ways, yet it's still the same Mind we each express. Mind's oneness gives people the common ground they need to unite and work together.

From all outward appearances, my group of workers looked like 16 different egos, 16 different opinions, and 16 hard-to-get-along-with people. But spiritually considered, they were 16 special ways of the one Mind being expressed. They all had their source in God, and they could hear God directing and guiding them to the best possible answer for the organization.

As I continued to pray for the unity of Mind to be expressed by this group, heated emotions cooled, tempers ceased, and territorial claims disappeared. The workers began talking to one another. An attitude of cooperation and mutual support developed. Each side dropped its hardened positions and came up with a plan that was acceptable to both sides.

When faced with conflict, at home, in the community, in the nation, or in the world, each of us has the ability to foster harmony through our prayers. Prayer brings perspective that enables decisionmakers to think more clearly, reason objectively, and make choices for the good of everyone.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established" (page 467).

The one Mind provides common ground for opposing parties to come together. Under the influence of this divine power, stubbornness, selfish maneuvering, and one-sided opinion give way to open-mindedness, kindness, and shared respect. Polarization dissolves into unity, and people get along with one another much better.

Be ye all of one mind,
having compassion one of another, love as brethren,
be pitiful, be courteous:
Not rendering evil for evil,
or railing for railing:
but contrariwise blessing;
knowing that ye are
thereunto called,
that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life,
and see good days,
let him refrain his tongue
from evil, and his lips
that they speak no guile:
Let him eschew evil,
and do good;
let him seek peace,
and ensue it.

I Peter 3:8-11

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