Call for Unity

Call for Unity

Unity—How do we get it in our country, and how do we get it in our world filled with division? After traveling to 16 countries last year, I believe that creating unity is critical and urgent. After being in many ports of call and seeing all the shipping containers that are transported internationally, I see the need for unity and for our world to get along more than ever.

On my recent trip abroad, I read the world news every day. It was a list of the latest bombings, natural disasters, refugee problems, and demonstrations against dictatorial regimes. My home country, the U.S., had political tensions with Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, and North Korea. The tweets between President Trump and Kim Jong-un filled me with fear, for this argument has potentially deathly consequences.

When I went to church last Sunday, the pastor spoke about our need for unity. I left the service crying. Why? I have friends with different political views than mine, and I don’t understand how they can hold the view they do. How do I get at peace with such differences, and how do our country and world do the same?

I have no magic answer; I just know that unity is needed for us to survive. Perhaps focusing on that need will help attain it.

When I shop, most of the goods are made abroad, and when I go to other countries, I find the same. If our world continues to be at odds, this international commerce could break down. Countries help each other when we buy from each other.

I wish that love and unity would prevail in my own country and without. This past year my country has been deluged with fires, hurricanes, mudslides, and record colds. The chaos in nature is mirroring the chaos in humanity.

I travel to Cuba next week, another place where my country has been at odds. Mexico, my neighboring country, may soon be separated by a wall. I don’t agree with such a tactic, and I believe that open negotiation creates better solutions than walls and isolation.

This week, when I helped a seven-year-old write about his dream inspired by King‘s “I Have a Dream” speech, he dreamed that everyone would live in peace. That was the wisdom of a seven-year-old. I wish that this was the dream and pursuit of all, and maybe it could occur. Peace not domination; peace not division.

I plan to stay friends with the people I know who have different political views than me, for I believe that the common good is our highest call. We row in the same boat of life and will sink or capsize if we just argue. We can have individual differences as long as they don’t harm others.

On my recent trip, I traveled by land and sea with people from the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and we all got along. We put our opinions aside about religion, politics, and how we thought life “should” be and got along. We didn’t have to get along, but we chose to get along and had a life-changing experience. We valued and respected one another learning that we were more alike than different. We had fun together which crosses all boundaries.

Perhaps our country and world leaders should take a trip together. They could either kill each other or get along. Hopefully, they would choose option two.

Animals can get along, so why can’t we humans—supposedly the most developed species? In Australia and New Zealand, I visited a zoo, a sheep farm, and a wildlife park. The animals co-existed. The kangaroos which I fed looked at me with such innocent eyes that I felt a deeper responsibility than ever to take care of these and all creatures.

When I went to Alaska and saw a glacier which had shrunk from global warming, I felt a deeper call to take care of the environment. Man can only take the best care of creation when we get along; otherwise we’re too distracted by bickering over who’s right and who’s wrong and power struggles.

Creation and our world have gone amok, but perhaps if enough of us work for unity, that seven-year-old boy’s dream can come true, and we can have peace and harmony. My country’s goods can travel to other countries, and foreign goods can travel to the U.S. unharmed.

With my call for unity, I don’t support repressive regimes or extremist acts of suicide bombers, and I know that high security measures must be taken. It’s sad, though, that in our world fraught with division that I cannot take canned tuna, green beans, or applesauce through airport security because they’re viewed as a bomb threat. It’s a crazy world when vegetables are seen as potentially lethal weapons.

Thus, as 2018 progresses, I pray for unity, for setting aside divisions, and focusing on our similarities and common desires more than our differences. I believe that most people would like freedom, love, belonging, and decent lives, and the only way to achieve that is to focus on getting along. Our lives and future depend on it.


Jennifer K. Jordan

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