Foster Unity over Division to Live Blissfully
Tuesday, January 24 2017 Silke Morin
There is a lack of connection between people in spite of the fact that unity over division can lead to a blissful life. There is a pervasive mentality of “us” versus “them.” Despite the fact that we know social connection makes us happier, we tend to dehumanize others. We pit ourselves against those who are different from us, acting apathetic at best and cruel at worst. I'm sure I don’t need to tell you that indifference and cruelty are not traits that will help you live a blissful life. In fact, they may actually prevent it. To break down the walls we erect that keep us separate, we need to learn how to humanize others and foster unity over division to live blissfully.
Foster Unity Over Division In 3 Ways
Refuse to Stereotype
Too often we paint people with broad strokes based on their political orientation, religious affiliation, or some other characteristic that is just one part of the person (Don’t Stigmatize Emotional Reactions to the US Election). This sort of generalizing is dehumanizing and makes it easier to establish separation. When we acknowledge each person as an individual rather than a symbol or stereotype, we begin to foster unity over division and enhance bliss. We erode the barriers that separate us.
When it comes right down to it, everyone wants the same basic things. We want love, happiness, and security, and we don't want pain, hardship, or loss. By focusing on similarities rather than differences, you start to see that we actually have a lot in common with the exact people we claim to be nothing like. True, we may go about achieving our desires differently, but at some fundamental level, our basic desires are the same.
Instead of being indifferent to or assuming the worst about a person, try putting yourself in their shoes. Make an attempt to understand what that person experiences and how they feel. Developing empathy helps you gain perspective on a situation and broaden your outlook. Engage with the other person, listen to their words without projecting your own agenda onto the situation, and imagine what they are going through. Empathy fosters unity.
Foster Unity Over Division: Avoid Us vs Them Thinking
Make an attempt to relate to those who are different from you. Watch this video to see how you can foster unity.
Image courtesy of flickr user Richard Foster.