What we see around us is a world full of conflict: us vs. them. This culture of contest permeates every aspect of our lives—from business and sports to politics and the justice system. Because this is what we see, it shapes our thinking.
But our reality is that we humans are one people, one global family. Like the cells of the body, we constitute one organic whole.
…this limitless universe is like the human body, all the members of which are connected and linked together in the greatest strength. ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Each cell both contributes to the health of the body and derives its nourishment from it. No cell exists outside the body and the body fully functions only when all its cells are working harmoniously together.
The same is true with us humans. Each of us has talents and gifts to contribute to society. And each of us benefits from being part of a collective of human beings. Imagine living alone in the wilderness and trying to feed, clothe, shelter and protect yourself. Not very many of us would survive.
But being part of a collective does not imply uniformity. It does not mean that somehow I must make everyone think the way I think. In fact, oneness of humanity embraces diversity, even requires it. The body needs all the different types of cells that make up its bones, brain, muscles and organs. Each cell is unique and each is essential.
As we learn to build community in our diverse world, it’s essential to understand this concept of unity in diversity. As we learn to consult together and build together, our diversity allows us to see an issue from many perspectives. Our unity allows us to glean the wisdom from those perspectives and chart a wise course of action.
In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress. ~ Booker T. Washington, African-American educator
Learn more about consultation
Consultation is a form of collective decision making that gathers diverse viewpoints in order to chart a wise course of action. It allows a group to look at a problem from all sides and build consensus on the best solution for all involved.