Episode #69 Is Unity Possible?

The notion of unity can be both powerful and unsettling: powerful because it tugs at the heartstrings of what we most desire, yet unsettling because we fear for what we might lose in the process. This week, Dr. Michael Brown and Steve Rieske bring their 3-part conversation about our Country in Crisis to a very practical and hopeful conclusion.

Show Notes

It won’t feel like laying down my rights. What it will do is it will feel like picking up another person’s well-being. And it will be fun. It really can be fun.
Steve Rieske

One Perspective

  • Unity is possible, but it requires tremendous amounts of tenacity, humility, and empathy.

Three Problems

  • The greatest barriers to unity are the protection of our personal freedom and the pursuit of others’ shame.
  • Sometimes considering others’ perspectives requires us not only to acknowledge that we were wrong but also to admit that we have done wrong.
  • We often fail to find common ground with others because we are afraid that agreement about one thing implies agreement about everything.

Three Principles

  • The pursuit of unity is not merely the ‘right’ way to spend our lives but is instead the most fun, fulfilling, and healthy way to spend our lives.
  • Societies are most prosperous when they simultaneously maximize both individual freedom and collective justice.
  • Many of our disagreements take place at the level of definition, even though we actually agree about the facts.

Five Practices

  • Demonstrate humility by acknowledging those situations when your personal worldview has failed to live up to its potential.
  • When national or worldwide unity feels overwhelming, take measurable steps toward unity in your own household, workplace, or local community.
  • Ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way?” whenever you recognize an instinctive defensiveness directed toward specific people, ideas, or organizations.
  • When a conversation is at a stand-still due to confusion surrounding terminology, offer the questions, “What do you call it when…?” and “What do you think I mean when I use the word…?”
  • Find common ground by utilizing others’ preferred terminology when applicable.