The Lost Art of Building Unity


When did we turn the corner?  When did the emphasis on diversity and individualism overtake the commitment to unity?  How did we become a people unable to effectively build unity?


There is an art to building something that is aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. If a building is not structurally sound it will crumble from within. If it is not pleasing to the eye, it will fall down from neglect. Unity is like that, it is a combination of a sound organizational structure, a compelling reason for being and appealing relationships. 


Today’s businesses, communities and families suffer because we have lost the art of building unity. One of the reasons is because we have lost our focus. More accurately we have been focusing on the wrong things! You empower what you focus on.  


In baseball, if the batter focuses on, “not striking out,” guess what happens? You got it, they strike out. In football, if a receiver focuses on the last pass he dropped he is more likely to do what? Drop the next one.


If you focus on your weaknesses, you remain weak; if you focus on your strengths you get stronger. If you focus on the behaviors of a friend or spouse, you empower those behaviors to annoy you and divide you. Conversely, if you focus on that person’s good qualities you empower those qualities to foster respect and even compassion for the areas of vulnerability.


For far too many years, we have been focusing on the wrong things when it comes to building the types of homes, communities and businesses that most of us long for. We desire homes where family members actually enjoy one another’s company and provide sanctuaries of rest and acceptance. We seek communities where neighbors support one another and rally round each other in times of crisis. We yearn to work in businesses that allow us to express our fullest potential in meaningful endeavors with people we actually enjoy being around.


But our focus has empowered a plague of discontent, dissent and discord. We focus on what we don’t have or our personal shortcomings, making us discontent with what we have or with who we are. Because we lose focus of our personal values, priorities and life mission, we commit to groups or organizations that operate contrary to our values and we end up chafing and stirring dissension.  We focus on our diversity and deify individualism rather than centering on the things that unite us, causing conflict to run rampant.


It does not have to be this way, we can build unity. We can choose to focus on finding agreement and common values. We can focus on becoming trustworthy and building strong, enduring relationships. We can choose to learn how to lead by valuing and respecting each unique person. When we do this we give people the opportunity to succeed, and we build unity, commitment and loyalty.


So…what’s your focus? 

Authored By: Rolfe Carawan


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