IN ONE VOICE
It's US against THEM
From the moment of our birth, the thought is planted that there are few of US, friends and family surrounded by a sea of others who are unknown, different and threatening. We are surrounded by THEM.
A divided world
Dividing lines between people are found everywhere, justifying the separation of US from THEM. Competition encourages division, and the world would have us believe that excellence can only be achieved through competition against others. Separation occurs along boundaries of family, race, religion, gender, age, ability, nationality, language, the school we attended and which side of the street we live on. Divisions multiply because of concerns over income or opportunity, perceived intelligence, interests, and the skills we learn. The divisions that have been invented to separate people is endless.
Implicit in these divisions is the idea that those with US are good, intelligent, noble and make worthwhile choices. Since the rest of THEM are not like US, they must represent the opposite of those desirable characteristics. They must be uninformed, dishonest and have questionable motives or values. They are certainly not people to associate with.
From fantasy to reality
The voice we listen to is the voice we hear.
While this may seem obvious, consider the implications. We listen carefully when a family member expresses an opinion and are patient in disagreement because it originates with one of US. Conversely, when one of THEM tries to explain their feelings on a subject, rejection and counterarguments arise so quickly that their voice is never heard. Kindness, dignity, and respect are withheld from THEM, simply because they are not one of US. Contempt results, deepening the division and justifying treating THEM poorly.
Joseph Grenny, REACH 2018
Healing the wounds
Each person must learn to share a calm voice with others, and encourage THEM to share their voice in like manner with US. Such a kind and dignified exchange will promote understanding, bridging the division and healing the wounds between US and THEM. We will discover our differences and our similarities, the diversity that makes life grand.
This kind of communication does not compromise any ideals or opinions. However, it will change US as we gain an understanding that we all share the same needs, desires, and aspirations. Our goals may vary in detail, but rarely in substance. Our disagreements can be resolved.
While embracing division between people, the truly big problems faced by humanity will remain. Those challenges will not, cannot, be solved by technology, by legislation or by extermination. The solution begins heart-to-heart, when we choose to offer kindness and respect to one another through sharing our voice. When the best of humanity is joined together In One Voice, new, surprising solutions to the big problems will present themselves. The impossible will open before us.
What's my part?
Healing begins with US reaching out to THEM. We control only our actions. Waiting for THEM to take the first step may mean waiting, suffering forever.
Jonathan Haidt showed tremendous insight when he declared "the most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation." (TED 2012)
A mighty forest starts as a single seed. Many good seeds can result from sharing voices with a single person in dignity and respect. It is impossible for us to know how far these seeds may fly, how they will thrive and what their final impact will be. Of certainty, every seed of hope, love, trust and compassion will have an influence on our world.
At In One Voice, we believe that every person should be allowed to share their voice, and have it heard. We believe this can happen when we begin to tear down the walls of division separating THEM from US. We believe that by uniting our voices, we can make a difference in the world. We invite you to be one with US!