Many have entered this New Year with new resolutions to which may we suggest adding pooling our strengths to minimize our weaknesses. It appears that controversies continue to always attract the most attention but seldom promote unity.
Many years ago my brother (now deceased) shared with me an article by Eric Butterworth entitled “The Voice of Unity.” This particular broadcast began with the statement: “There are no race problems; there are only people problems! Let’s take a long, hard look inside ourselves.”
For many years a highly diversified group of individuals met voluntarily on a weekly basis here in Roanoke following a Dr. Martin Luther King video viewed at Valley View Mall. The group began weekly meetings in the Downtown Public Library, moving to the Unitarian Universalist Church, then under the pastorate of Kirk Ballin, and finally to The Roanoke Tribune.
Through the years the open-door regular attendees drew professionals, dignitaries, and even a friendly delegation from the Ku Klux Klan on one occasion in an attempt to present their “more positive side.”
The intent of the gatherings was not to solve local or world problems but primarily, to take a long, hard look within ourselves to not only examine our own true feelings and subsequent contributions to race problems but to “lay them on the table” before others. Outside professionals were also occasionally brought in to assist with the process.
In view of current local, national and especially internationally brewing problems, it is becoming increasingly evident that such self-searching open-door gatherings are desperately needed and should be highly encouraged–under proper, professional guidance!
As one elderly gentleman once commented, “The only difference between people is that we’re dumb about different things.” To this may we ad that we also have different strengths and different weaknesses. When we begin concentrating more on what unites us rather than on what divides us we will be finally graduating from the Willy Lynch well taught theory of perfecting separation and division:
“Discover their differences; Multiply them, then pit them against one another! You can then control them for years if not centuries! It’s so easy even a child can do it.”
Socrates also once remarked, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Within the framework of our present day attitudes toward the people of the world and especially of
those within our immediate environment, may we each ask, Is my life worth living?
It’s time to investigate!