Posted by: Brad Stanford | November 9, 2016

#unite

I have a friend that posted the following on November 9, 2016:

“So Mom, what does this mean?

It means you get up tomorrow, get dressed for school, study even more, be even more kind to others and fight even harder to make a world with vitality and dignity for all.

#unite”

For the longest time, I have prayed for my kids to be better than me. What loving parent on the earth would want their child to grow up to be an exact duplicate of themselves? Am I the greatest human ever? Hardly!

This automatically means I want them to be not me. The post above falls into this category of hoping for better people in the next generation. The plea between the lines is clear: You are now in the fight. This is not an adult problem. In fact, adults have demonstrated far less ability to be mature than children. We need the children to be looking at these problems and inventing solutions before they grow out of the ability to see clearly. You have goodness still. Use it.

This election will be written about for a long time, and I am hopeful that most will not miss the fact that there are a lot of details that created this perfect storm. No, this was not a bunch of bigoted, sexist, racist people voting for Trump, any more than the people voting for Hillary are all under FBI investigation. If you are afraid because you think all the bad people joined together to steal you life from you, think again. It’s not like that at all.

What was true yesterday is true today: without ANYONE’S permission, you can be great. You can pursue being a better person. You can love your enemy. You can pray for those that persecute you. If you’re not a praying person, you can work on making sure that you act instead of react. Plan ahead what you will do WHEN you’re at the receiving end of nastiness. Do not fight evil with evil, but with good. Learn to live without safe spaces. Work on teaching people to be excellent to each other. #moralsfrom80smovies

Also: learn how to identify where you are wrong, admit it quickly, and adjust. This is an enormous quality that is lacking.

While we’re at it, build trust in everything you do. Sarcasm with strangers does not build trust. Trolling does not build trust. In fact practical jokes don’t build trust unless that’s the language of your particular tribe. If at all possible, be truthful about your work hours, your reasons for being late, your forgetfulness, your belief system.

Learn to poke holes in your own arguments. Read what others think about your belief system, and wrestle with it. Be willing to admit you don’t know something until you actually know it (see “being truthful” above). Leave yourself open to always being wrong. Contrary to the religion of “established science”, true science is always asking, “Is that [assumed fact] still true today?” Without questioning everything, we get intellectually lazy, to the point of ridiculing those who dare do what we’re all supposed to do – attack assumptions with questions.

I say these things in the support of the #unite idea. Because without these characteristics (and many more that I don’t have time for here) unity has nothing to grow in.

Think about this:

If you think that the ends justify the means for your side only, we will never be united. But if you think that laws are for everyone, and that we should all abide by them, then we can.

If you think that we ALL must approve of a given lifestyle (Christian? LGBT? Vegetarian? Crony Capitalism?), we will never be united. But if you think every human being should be treated like a human being, well, we can.

Unity is not built on conformity, but on freedom within the form. The form is that laws are for everyone. The freedom is that you can join as many people to your cause as you wish. The form is that human beings are human beings and should be treated as such. The freedom is that birds of a feather are free to flock together as long as they don’t poop on the windshields of the car-lovers. The idea here is that your actions set the rules for everyone else. If you are violent, then you’re saying you want everyone else to be. If you call names like, “Recraplican” or “Libtarb” or “Hitlery” or “Dump”, then you are saying loudly you WANT the world to treat you that way in return.

Is that what you really want? Or do you want some peace, protection, and prosperity?

Unity happens when we all realize we want the same things: life (freedom from threat), liberty (freedom from tyranny), and the pursuit of happiness (freedom to be you). We are intelligent enough to figure out how to ensure those things. How about we start there, and work out the odd scenarios as we go?

I am for unity. The decision to pursue it will immediately cause the minutia we argue about to fall at the wayside. Why? Because as long as you think of conformity as your savior, you will not only be angry, but enslaved as well. But when you realize that unity is an environment in which you can be free, then everything changes for the better.

Yes – always keep studying, even when out of school.

Yes – always be more kind to others today than yesterday.

Yes – fight as hard as you can for those who can not speak up for themselves.

Yes to vitality! Yes to dignity!

And, ironically, yes to letting someone else think that those things are not worth pursuing.

If an idea is right, it will be self-evident, and spread, eliminating thoughts in opposition to it.

But it has to be demonstrated first.

#unite

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