Creating Unity in an Imperfect World

Brightly, the colored lights of a countries flag are displayed on monuments around the world. With every crisis another head bows, and political support is shown worldwide for the current tragedy. Though daily, individuals and groups publicly proclaim their positions and points of view, during crisis the bruises of the offended are forgotten, and helpful hands are extended. It is exceptional that so many people are willing to fight for causes that will eventually save lives, especially in the midst or aftermath of a catastrophe. However, how much better off would we as people and nations be, if we extended the same efforts of service on a daily basis?

Volunteering might include feeding the homeless or weeding a garden, but most of the time it could be offering a smile or holding the door for the person behind you. After listening to several motivational talks, the fixed message seems to be that change starts with you. Though inspired, most people would see themselves, one person, as inadequate. Given that one motion does not noticeably change the lives of billions of others, it is easy to become relaxed in our habits, instead of making a conscious effort to do some good in the world. 

That last statement may hold a lot of weight and cause anxiety for many, but that is not the intention. The intention of stating the importance of making a conscious effort to do some good in the world is solely to inform you that being authentically yourself, and respecting those around you for being themselves can make a world of a difference. The more we genuinely live with kindness and outward consideration toward others, the more inclined others will be to join us. These actions of authenticity are what speak louder than words and make all the difference. 

In the movie “Sully,” a true story based on a US Airways pilot who safely landed his aircraft in the Hudson river in 2009, a battle is presented between humanity and practicality that almost cost him his career. Though arguable, unfortunate events are more prominent than ever, and “Sully” could not have come out at a more advantageous time. The film shows that despite our differences, when unexpected circumstances occur, people are capable of coming together in realization that every life is important. In result, all 155 passengers aboard the aircraft were saved, and able to carry on with their lives and return home to their loved ones.

Respect is defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Yes, a lot of respect is noted inward, but in terms of action my favorite concept in its regard is the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them done unto you.” No person is perfect, and no person is placed in a perfect situation. It can be easy to judge ourselves by saying that someone else has it worse than we do, or that we will never be sufficient enough to actually make a difference, but the truth is that global change takes time and dedication, and no one of us can do it alone.

One person may not be able to go to Haiti tomorrow and build an entire village, or fix the water drainage issues in Mexico City, but the respect they give daily will cause less political confrontation. The good deeds they do will spread, and being authentically themselves will give them a place in the world where they can make a difference and see the most change. Therefore, the next time that you are tempted to seclude yourself from social opportunities, as simple as sitting next to someone on a train, remember that you never know what the person next to you is facing, and it doesn’t matter what their race, gender, religion, or sexuality may be, all lives matter and should be treated equal. Given that people are not perfect, and people make up society, societies are not perfect, but coming together during crisis proves that hope for humanity is not lost and that we can create unity in an imperfect world one step at a time. 

-M