The Democratic Party has recently held a deeply emotional convention with an overriding theme of party unity. Coming off a highly charged primary campaign that was both hostile and divisive, campaign aides and party
Unity was not only called for from the podium, but actually practiced and celebrated.
leaders identified their primary task as mending the fissure and reuniting the party.
Events at the convention were choreographed to create an impression of spontaneous gestures of unity and enthusiastic support for Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. The Clintons did their part, delivering rousing speeches from the rostrum and a timely motion from Hillary to suspend the roll call and endorse Obama's nomination by acclamation. This gesture of selfless support reverberated throughout the room as delegates closed ranks and shed unabashed tears of joy.
I am cynical enough to recognize choreography when I see it, but am also I honest enough to appreciate its results when they are positive - and these results were positive. The measure of Hillary's sincerity or Bill Clinton's support is not at issue here. Whether the suspension of the roll call was spontaneous or designed is immaterial. The main point was that for the first time in a very long time, unity was not only called for from the podium, but actually practiced and celebrated.
Unity Touches Our Depths
Unity brings out the best in us regardless of what brings it about. Some argue that Hillary surrendered because she stood to gain little from holding on to her delegates. This is true, but the fact remains that opting for unity rather than nursing a grudge is laudable. The delegates in the room are as sophisticated as I am; they also knew that Hillary's move was timed and self-serving, but the moment was still inspiring. They too realized that the politicians had conspired to display a show of unity, but the display stirred them nonetheless. I will confess that I too was moved. We are moved by unity because it touches the depths of our humanity.
The human condition strives for unity; it is our natural state of equilibrium. We are instinctively happier in unity than we are in its absence. By nature, we are one. Our souls share the same primal or even primordial root. Our bodies are formed from the very same material. Our common ancestors were Adam and Eve. There are so many things that unite us and, by comparison, few that divide us.
Unity Reflects the Singularity of G-d
In its highest form, unity is celebrated because the whole of the world, despite its pluralism and multiplicity, was created by one G-d. Underlying our differences is a singular core that is the essence of all existence. Our celebration of pluralism eclipses our common origin.
It is true that we have differences. Nations, religions, cultures and ethnicities each embark on unique paths. We affirm each group's right to choose their way, but in our affirmation of pluralism we often forget that at heart we are one. If the frills and trimming are stripped, and if the essence of our being is revealed, then we find only one prototype - humanity. Our differences notwithstanding, we were crafted by the very same G-d, share the same universe and are subject to the same laws of nature.
Celebration of unity triggers palpable joy because on the deepest level it is a celebration of the highest truth; the truth that G-d is a singular force in a multifaceted world, He is the singularity that binds us to each other.
Unity Makes Us Complete
Celebrations of unity are celebrations of our very essence, which is why we are
Our souls share the same primal or even primordial root. Our bodies are formed from the very same material.
complete only when we are united. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, and the Hebrew word for completion, shalem, share etymological roots. Our essence is one, but on the surface we each appear distinctive. We refract our common light through individual prisms. We reflect our common truth in unique expressions. Yet, beneath the surface, we are one.
In unity, our essence is revealed intact and we are complete. In disunity, we are broken, because our essence is concealed and all that remains are the surface fragments of our disjointed distillations.
Unity Ushers in Blessing
A united nation is a complete vessel; a fractured nation is a broken one. A complete vessel retains the blessings that G-d pours into it. A broken vessel slowly leaks its blessings until it is drained of all blessing.
In summation, unity is a celebration of our oneness. Unity is a celebration of our Creator. Unity ushers in blessing and we are all in need of G-d's blessing.
Whether you support Barack Obama or John McCain you surely support unity when you see it. It is a unity we must not only support, but also emulate. Unity need not be the purview of the Democratic Party; it can become the hallmark of democracy. It can trickle into our own communities and homes. It is possible and it is up to us.