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| Unity Obstacles
Here are some obstacles to achieving Unity.
It is psychologically healthy to have personal boundaries.
It is especially important for the vulnerable to develop boundaries.
However, whilst within such a protective armour, we must beware of closing off to life.
Somehow we must keep our heart open and somehow love.
We may need to close off to toxic influences, but do try and find something wholesome to love.
We need the spring of our heart to keep flowing!
Identity or self-concept is a very powerful psychological force affecting both personal and social life.
Adolescence is a crucial time for identity formation (Erikson in Identity, Youth and Crisis, 1968). This transition to adulthood is challenging and recognised by tribal initiations for youths.
However, in modern life, identity formation can be fragile and young people can over-identify into intolerant cliques or in-groups. They can then attack out-groupers, even over such minor things as dress or gesture.
There are various answers to these obstacles to unity: elders, mentors, presence of father for boys, community involvement.
Identity continues to direct a person throughout life.
One answer to overcoming any intolerance arising from identity is identifying the deep Self, the real 'I'. We realise we are One.
Minimal Group Research
In social psychology, the 'minimal group paradigm' is best known for investigating the least conditions required for discrimination to occur between groups (Wikipedia, accessed 16 August 2017).
Essentially, categorisation or labelling is enough to create a group and the possibility of discrimination against any other group. (Age of the Sage, accessed 16 August 2017)
Another fascinating example is the name-letter effect, where we unconsciously prefer letters that feature in our own names over other letters.
If such trivial differences can potentially create obstacles to equality and unity, then what about gender, class, ethnicity, skin colour, nationality, religion??
We may be born without hate (Nelson Mandela quote and the most-liked tweet as at August 2017), but there are so many influences on us that we can understand how we develop preferences and biases.
We might conclude that it is okay to perceive bias in oneself - rather than condemn ourselves for being like this?
And then rise above these tendencies, surely?
One way is to realise we are one!
This is a mystical and environmental truth.
We are interconnected.
We are One.
In this way, we minimise discrimination and inequality.
We are One.