Unity of Thought

What’s the problem with not having unity of thought?

Consider any organization. We all know that things get done in the organization as a result of individual or cooperative efforts. Typically when people share the same beliefs, ideas, methods and visions, they get things done collectively. When there is resistance, opposition, ignorance, domination, or extreme individuality projects will tend to fail.

Whenever something needs to change, it is when people begin first to think alike about the outcome that things being to progress quickly. Working together is a key to progress. Unity is not necessarily thinking exactly alike, it is about thinking about the same outcome and creating enough flexibility in method that each person’s contribution can be made valuable. So the very first step in creating any coordinated action is to get all participants on board and keeping them informed of the anticipated or desired outcome.

But how do we get people to think together?

We can think about thoughts like drops of rain, they are just there and each one is somewhat different. When it first arrives, you don’t have a chance to think about whether you want that thought or not. Thoughts just happen. It is then up to us to funnel these thoughts into action. If we want to move forward in any initiative, the first part is to get participants on-board just as creating a flowing river from disparate drops.

Building a united understanding around the required actions and outcomes is essential. It requires that thoughts begin to change in such a way that people begin to collectively see where they need to go, accepting each other’s differences, consulting on how to adjust the action and recognizing the value of each individual contribution to the common goal. At very least, it requires that each participant be in sync with whoever is leading the effort. It does not mean that we should all have the same thoughts.

If we think about the world that we live in as being one world, it requires us to still see the infinite diversity in the world. We don’t suddenly all have the same point of view. It requires that we examine that same reality from the many sides that it presents to us. And it also requires us to accept that others are capable of seeing and comprehending things that we might not.

What we need to accept is that in our world, we function based on belief, not based on reality. Some of our beliefs are a reflection of a certain part of observable reality. Some of our beliefs are just filling in gaps for what we really don’t know. Some of our beliefs are just what we imagine to be true based on what we have been told. Regardless of the source of our belief, we live by these beliefs and act according to the understanding we are right to believe them. This is why religion and politics are such hot topics, because they poke at the parts of our belief systems that deal with complex issues that are difficult to prove one way or another. Since we cannot prove our beliefs, except possibly to ourselves, we feel the need to defend our right to these beliefs. Since these beliefs also tend to define what is wrong and right in our minds, we also tend to impose these beliefs on our judgment of others. What’s worse is that we confuse our explanation of complex results with our own perception of observable reality. In other words, we think that we understand and that others don’t understand.

Our reality, even mine in writing this entry, is our own and no one else shares it exactly. For example, if I believe that we need more unity in the world, each person has an idea in there mind of what unity means to them. So even if they agree with my words, they may not agree exactly with my meaning. Others will have completely different understanding of the word unity. They may agree with my sentiment (i.e. what I meant) but they may not agree with the words that I used to express that sentiment. Misunderstandings are therefore very possible.

So Unity of Thought in my essence is the notion that we all have the right to our own thoughts, that each of our perceptions provides a means to explain a complex reality, and that we each learn to accept each other as we are. This doesn’t mean that we should stop striving to better our selves and it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stop making the world a better place. What it does mean is that we need to stop believing that our own beliefs define the world that we live in. When someone does something we disagree with, we need to understand that there is some part of their belief that has equal validity to ours. We need to see ourselves as the only person in the world who can fully understand ourselves and therefore we are, in a sense, our own best friend. And if we can be a best friend to ourself and accept who we are, we can also be a best friend to others and accept who they are.

Admittedly that was a little complex, but I hope that it helps us to have a little more Unity of Thought.

Until next time,

Garth