We must seek together to address the good aspirations of people everywhere, for we are bound together through great commonality.
Whether right or wrong, it is my belief that Christian colleges place their emphasis not on that which divides us, but on the substance that binds us together. That commonality is the gospel of Jesus Christ. He commanded us to love one another—to set aside our differences and to care for “the least of these” among us. It is our unity, not our diversity, that deserves our allegiance.
Stop trying to explore what is different about yourselves and explore the commonality you have instead.
Uncommon success is found on the spiritual plane; you can't get there through common convention or following others. Hard work is not enough; many work slavishly-hard for little reward. Intelligence is insufficient; how many educated and brilliant people there are who fail utterly and completely. Goodness is not enough; how many meek and good souls are tilled into the earth like manure by demigods to fertilize their golden crops. There is something more — it is the unseen essential, and everyone has access to it.
Some want, to be exempt. They do not want to excel, they do not want to exert. They want to be considered excellent, for desiring to be held exempt, from all accountability.
While in principle groups for survivors are a good idea, in practice it soon becomes apparent that to organize a successful group is no simple matter. Groups that start out with hope and promise can dissolve acrimoniously, causing pain and disappointment to all involved. The destructive potential of groups is equal to their therapeutic promise. The role of the group leader carries with it a risk of the irresponsible exercise of authority.Conflicts that erupt among group members can all too easily re-create the dynamics of the traumatic event, with group members assuming the roles of perpetrator, accomplice, bystander, victim, and rescuer. Such conflicts can be hurtful to individual participants and can lead to the group’s demise. In order to be successful, a group must have a clear and focused understanding of its therapeutic task and a structure that protects all participants adequately against the dangers of traumatic reenactment. Though groups may vary widely in composition and structure, these basic conditions must be fulfilled without exception.Commonality with other people carries with it all the meanings of the word common. It means belonging to a society, having a public role, being part of that which is universal. It means having a feeling of familiarity, of being known, of communion. It means taking part in the customary, the commonplace, the ordinary, and the everyday. It also carries with it a feeling of smallness, or insignificance, a sense that one’s own troubles are ‘as a drop of rain in the sea.’ The survivor who has achieved commonality with others can rest from her labors. Her recovery is accomplished; all that remains before her is her life.
By acknowledging and accepting the ultimate commonality, we can naturally and voluntarily develop the attitude of compassion and benevolence toward other people, other life-forms, and all beings. We will want to live for the good of all because we know that's the way we benefit ourselves, too.
Hopefully, someday we will both realize that despite our sharp differences, you and I have more in common than we think.
Someday find my son...tell him about how things can be between men on this Earth.--A Letter to Jesse Owens
Each man is an island unto himself. But though a sea of difference may divide us, an entire world of commonality lies beneath.
We read a good novel not in order to know more people, but in order to know fewer. Instead of the humming swarm of human beings, relatives, customers, servants, postmen, afternoon callers, tradesmen, strangers who tell us the time, strangers who remark on the weather, beggars, waiters, and telegraph-boys--instead of this bewildering human swarm which passes us every day, fiction asks us to follow one figure (say the postman) consistently through his ecstasies and agonies. That is what makes one impatient with that type of pessimistic rebel who is always complaining of the narrowness of his life and demanding a larger sphere. Life is too large for us as it is: we have all too many things to attend to. All true romance is an attempt to simplify it, to cut it down to plainer and more pictorial proportions. What dullness there is in our life arises mostly from its rapidity; people pass us too quickly to show us their interesting side. By the end of the week we have talked to a hundred bores; whereas, if we had stuck to one of them, we might have found ourselves talking to a new friend, or a humorist, or a murderer, or a man who had seen a ghost.