More than anytime in recent history, there is great cultural division, and paradoxically, it creates a great desire for cultural unity.
Whether it’s within a corporate culture or societal culture, most people are repelled by divisiveness and conflict. It’s destructive to relationships. It stifles healthy progress.
An insistent focus on things that divide people… naturally leads to more division. Common (to all) goals, ideals, and values lead to unity.
In a company… those commonalities and rallying points might be to put customers first. To serve them in the best way possible for the satisfaction of the customer, the employees, and the pride of contributing to a highly regarded organization. Other factors become secondary to jointly serving customers with excellence.
In American society, there used to be a common love and pride of country, of family, of national achievement, and of promoting the cause of freedom in the world. Today, each of those are areas of contention.
So what can become the common rallying point? What transcendent purpose can we all embrace? What common goal can we agree to reach for together?
As long as we continue to lower our gaze and pit group against group and class against class we will never rise to find common ground.
As long as a vision is cast that only appeals to one group or segment, nothing will be achieved.
A transcendent objective will only succeed if it’s a common good that can be recognized for its universality.
For the dividers, the endless division provides power, notoriety, and often financial reward. If I can identify my own oppressed group or class, I can have influence in a kingdom of my own creation. The common good is secondary to the influence and attention gained in my self-created segment of society.
If a sincere majority can agree on a worthy objective beyond themselves or their group, real progress can be made.
Despite opposing values and worldviews, there surely are common ideals we might agree on.
- A national call to serve others in our communities and in our nation. When we focus on a greater good through a culture of service, we can find great appreciation, unity, and sense of accomplishment. Promote a focus on positively impacting others that are not like yourself. It’s hard to be discouraged when you’re serving others, and hard to feel marginalized when you’re being served. When the call is for ALL to “Give before you get”, we all contribute, and benefit together.
- A national call toward personal responsibility. Adopt John F. Kennedy’s challenge of “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. A challenge to meaningfully contribute to your neighbors, your community, and your nation. Get involved, find solutions, and make a difference by being a contributor to the things that need to be done.
- A commitment to major improvements in inner-city and rural schools with an objective of truly leveling the educational playing field nationally. Seek grassroots solutions that work, community by community vs. previously failed broadly applied prescriptions that so often do more harm than good. Seek solutions that do good vs. only feel good.
…many other ideas can arise as well… transcendent goals that appeal to all.
In our organizations, and in our nation, we are NOT divided beyond hope. We can come together when we have a purpose together that rises above our differences and disagreements.
Thinking beyond our own perspectives alone… what transcendent purpose can you promote for the betterment of the cultures in the organizations, in the communities, and in the nation in which we live?