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Unity, not division, is what’s natural

Today’s contributor shares his experience of how divisiveness can give way to a spirit of cooperation. 

I picked up the day’s local newspaper and noticed a variety of stories that ultimately pointed to a need for unity among people. Whether it was local, business, or sports news, the widespread search was on for effective ways to bring about a resolution to divisions.

Steps like arbitration and compromise can certainly help individuals, families, groups, teams, organizations, and nations on their respective roads to unity and bring greater harmony and peace. At the same time, I’ve seen that considering a spiritual concept of unity can make a significant, positive difference in moving toward healing.

There was a time when more teamwork was greatly needed among the group of us who were working together in the satellite office of an organization. New ideas were not being readily received but met with obvious resistance. Cooperation was definitely lacking, yet it was a critically needed element to accomplish our mission.

But over many years I have experienced the effectiveness of the approach to prayer in my practice of Christian Science and knew that it had to be a priority in my approach to this situation. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded this publication, shares a perspective on unity based on a spiritual understanding of our relationship to God: “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being” (p. 361).

Clearly, when we’re in any kind of relationship, the attitude or thought we bring is a significant factor to the overall experience. And time and again, I’ve found that spiritual thinking can have a high impact for good. So I spent some time considering the idea that God, divine Spirit (see John 4:24), is our true Parent, and we are His spiritual offspring, reflecting the goodness of God. It made sense to me that, therefore, there is a natural unity we all share as God’s spiritual children. On this basis, qualities like thoughtfulness, flexibility, and respect – qualities that bring greater cooperation and harmony to our everyday lives – are natural for everyone to express.

So, as I began my prayers about the situation at work by acknowledging some of these ideas, I saw that everyone involved could naturally express Godly qualities. And these ideas coincide with a passage in Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy describes man (which includes all of us) as “that which has not a single quality underived from Deity” (p. 475).

It wasn’t long before I noticed a spirit of cooperation in our office, a willingness to learn from one another, and open-mindedness in our interactions, rather than division. I saw the hard-working team that we truly were emerging, as we strove together to reach the same goals in order to achieve the same mission. Our inherent unity as God’s spiritual offspring was evidenced in harmony being expressed, even in the face of the potentially divisive issues we faced.

Unity can sometimes seem like such an elusive or unachievable ideal that its lack is accepted as inevitable, the norm. However, when we’re willing to view unity not simply as a group of people with diverse views trying to come together, but from a spiritual perspective – based on everyone’s relationship to God and therefore to each other – we can expect to see more and more evidence that unity, not division, is what’s really in the driver’s seat.

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