By William Ledesma, Vanderbilt University Class of 2025
Major: Law, History & Society; Hometown: Camarillo, CA
Humanity and its hovering ideas of societies, though subject to the rule of law and subjective to diverse communities, are all emplaced with innate cornerstone principles which are guided by objective truths and groups. When defining the idea of unity—and what unity is not—it is essential to understand that unity’s identity and nature flow with the same rhythm.
On an altruistic baseline, unity can be commonly perceived as an array of groups arriving altogether to sort a conflict. Within the mechanics of morality, unity is a form of human decency, one of which an individual or a group places negotiation and compromises at the forefronts of solutions, above self-interest. In the seas of storytelling, unity oftentimes connotes a defined front against an antagonistic foe.
Yet, an all-encompassing view of unity is not this simple.
Unity’s definition is too often inspected under a microscope—or rather a macroscope—of division among differing groups at a grand scale, lacking little attention to the methods by which unity arrives among all groups, such as those characterized by an overlapping interest, belief, healing wound, or relationship. Even more so, all forms of unity—whether it is nations or neighbors—share a common thread of connection which permits for a sustainable agreement.
But the connection necessary to perform the act of unity does not always bend towards neither a greater good nor a majority opinion. Essentially, unity bonds with its participants and its interests, even if unity’s progress is delivered at the expense of others. Based upon this reasoning, unity is a personable connection, one that is held among individuals and groups that are fueled by emotions and guided by beliefs—and at best—substantiated with reasoned logic. This is the amalgamation of unity, and history all too well proves this proclamation to be prevalently true.
With unity defined, let’s now grasp in more detail the nature of unity in action.
The arts of the world are repertoires for relevant connections to societal ideas, and when it comes to the idea of unity, this statement undoubtedly holds its value because unity is frequently expressed through the corridors of human creativity. One avenue where unity is present is within the Rock N’ Roll lyrical rhythms and bass riffs of the Beatles’ Come Together, which fits the bill to assist a procedural composition—or at minimum an aspect—of unity. By lyrical line, this excerpt of Come Together examines the interpersonal steps of unity in action:
“he say I know you, you know me /
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free /
Come together, right now, over me” (The Beatles, Come Together).
Among the masses of people or next to a neighboring individual, the formation of unity occurs on the basis of bonding. As seen here, John Lennon rhapsodizes us, simply with our ears attuned to his words, that there are shared values and knowledge among us and Lennon. Applying this to scenarios of unity, unification appears through an infinite amount of possibilities which includes unity in lineages, careers, shared interests, a better tomorrow, or political standpoints. Intrinsically, unity’s presence is called upon in moments of division, and it is only by generating this personable bond of common interest for unity to matriculate. These values and shared knowledge inscribe the nature of unity and involve the connections required for unity to take action.
Maintaining unity requires persuasively expressing and empowering a belief—and its purpose is wielded by committing to a shared future. In line two, Lennon’s belief in freedom—strikingly similar to a familiar promise in the United States—is the vehicle of uniting the group’s interests with its members who are emotionally fused. However, participation in belief is beyond mere dutiful membership. In addition, unified beliefs require members to engage ears to words of agreement and opposition to strengthen the bond of unity.
Besides its members, one of the most consequential aspects of unity is its leadership—and this sequential step of unity is supplanted, in this example, with Lennon’s rallying of listeners under his wing. In a sense, unity is a scale between perception and reality that can be difficult to balance, and the power of leadership often sways its polarity to one side or the other to achieve its goals—for better or worse.
Whether or not one is a fan of the Beatles, unity in action is coming together with common interests under the command of leadership—and the soul of unity is prescribed by the direction it steers.