“We are not going to be able to operate our spaceship earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.” ~ Buckminster Fuller, author
As we post this final blog of the ‘Whole New World’ series, it is six months since the start of the CoronaVirus pandemic. We have lost loved ones and livelihoods. We are suffering crisis overload and calamity fatigue. There is uncertainty about if or when things will ever get back to some kind of normalcy or predictability, and violence is breaking out in American cities and elsewhere around the globe. Political and ideological divisiveness is rising like a tsunami as passions deepen on extreme ends of the divide. How do we retain some semblance of hope or optimism at a time like this? How can virtues help? Truthfully, calling on the “better angels of our nature” is the only thing that can hold us together.
The seventh virtue for the Great Reset is Unity. What a fitting focus for this final blog post. As we navigate multiple waves of crisis, the refrain we hear throughout the world is, “We’re all in this together.” This is far more than a naive, nice-to-have “kumbaya” slogan for us all to get along. It’s a crucial call to our global community to connect and cooperate as never before, in order not only to recover, but to take advantage of a defining moment for change in our collective lives. A message written on plywood fronting a closed business in an American city says, “Are we really waiting for a return to normal or are we ready to build something different?” We cannot do this alone. We can only do it together.
We will always have differences. What matters is how we respond to them. Unity doesn’t mean uniformity or dissolving our diverse viewpoints. It is accepting, even appreciating our varied ways of belief and being, our cultures and our values. Unity in diversity has power -- the power to calm us and lead us to fresh hope with tolerance, understanding and cooperation. At the most basic level, Unity calls us to a commitment to abolish violence, to engage in civil discourse with those who see things differently, and to honor our passions while keeping our peace.
In the midst of anxiety and overwhelm at this time of constant shifts and changes, we have to take it one day, one decision at a time. We just need to take the next right step for ourselves and our families, keeping in mind the wellbeing of our communities and our world. Every step is the practice of a virtue.
Each virtue of this blog series, as well as many other virtues, reside under the umbrella of Unity -- the solidarity we need to reimagine a whole new world and create the Great Reset. The lens of these six virtues allows us to have different relationships with ourselves and each other. They are pillars of Unity, which calls us to come together and heal our world.
Unity is inclusiveness, common purpose and collaboration. It brings everyone into the circle of love.. An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Unity is a process. We’re not there yet, but we’re on the path. Virtues are the skills we need to get us there.
“ain’t yet no word for a world without children starved and lonesome…
ain’t yet no word for a world where each mistake is a holy possibility to improve…
ain’t yet no word for a world with no fear.
but we working.”
Excerpts from what it is and will be, in Finna, by poet Nate Marshall
Unity leads to humane and innovative decisions in governance. Three national leaders have united in a new network to develop “an alternative future based on well-being and inclusive growth.” The three women leading Scotland, Iceland, and New Zealand are redefining national success by prioritizing sustainability, mental health and family time over the obsession with GNP as the only measure of prosperity. Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland gave a brilliant Ted talk about this.
It was heart-warming to watch hundreds of local youth and those from neighboring countries pouring into Beirut to clean up the devastation following the massive explosion that destroyed 30,000 homes. They set up food stations, cleaned apartments, and removed rubble. This is one of many heroic efforts of people uniting to help others survive calamity.
There is a practical immediacy to Unity as well, in response to Covid. If 80 to 90% of people wore masks in public, they could prevent tens of thousands of deaths from COVID-19, according to epidemiologists and mathematicians.
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” ~ Baha’u’llah
Unity acknowledges our oneness
It is hard to hold onto prejudice when we hear and resonate with one anothers' stories. We cannot help seeing the human face of each of us, recognizing our love for our children and our common desire to live and thrive. The world is small now. We cannot “other” each other anymore. There is no they, only us.
Helen Keller, who overcame seemingly impossible odds, said, "Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much." Nothing is impossible to the human spirit when we tap into our collective strength. The power of unity is symbolized in the fact that if the same amount of light emitted by fireflies flitting separately in the evening sky were brought into alignment as light particles do in a laser beam, it would cut through steel.
"The minute we become an integrated whole, we look through the same eyes and we see a whole different world together." ~ Azizah Al-Hibri
Call to Action:
Thank you for reading our blog series. We hope that it has been informative and inspiring, bringing you hope in these stressful times, and sparking your own ideas about how to be a positive part of the Great Reset.
Authors: Linda Kavelin-Popov and David Feldman
Linda Kavelin-Popov is a psychotherapist and hospice spiritual care doula. She is co-founder of The Virtues Project, endorsed by The Dalai Lama and the United Nations. She has authored seven books, translated into several languages. She was named a “Cultural Creative” by Time Magazine.
Dave Feldman is an entrepreneur, community builder, thought leader and international speaker. He co-founded several social entrepreneurial ventures including: Virtues Matter, developer of the Virtues Cards app; Livability Project, a sustainability consultancy; and Media4Green, an environmental content producer.