17January2022

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What are Vitamins for the Heart? Additionally to the physical help for us the spiritual support has likewise a big meaning. ‘Vitamins for the Heart’ is the title of series in which we publish new articles monthly. The Vitamins are compositions out of texts, which we are friendly allowed by the authors to present on our webpage. Because we had many positive reactions to the vitamins we also want to present them on our webpage and hope that they will also bring many others a big pleasure.

Vitamins for the Heart

Unity in Diversity

Wolfgang P. Schmidt

One man says the new 5G mobile data transmission speed is terrible for your health; another says it is better for it. One is for the ruling party; another is for the opposition. One is all for the vaccine and wants everyone to have it; another is against it and wants to keep freedom of choice. One likes to see manger scenes in public places; the European Commission tries to cancel Christmas.

Both sides are convinced that they are right. What are we going to do with these discrepancies, how do we react to one and then the other? How can we reconcile, avoid arguing, getting upset? How can we bring peace and unity in the midst of such diversity?

I have noticed that in countries with more democracy and freedom of expressing opinions, the divide amongst its citizens can go to the point of getting aggressive and nasty, even between members of one’s own family and community.

This interview of Andy Stanley with Sarah Anderson, the author of the book “The Space Between Us” talks about this subject. The author, whose family is involved in higher up politics, describes how people fight each other even within their own party. She suggests that even if there is a divide in our own family or party, we should make an effort to go out of our way to meet the other side and try to find common ground.

think it is great that we can each express our own opinions, left or right, for or against, as long as we are loving in what we say, show respect to each other, and use kindness, tact, and tolerance.

The Golden Rule is pretty universal, endorsed by many religions. Jesus expressed it this way: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them (Mat 7:12).”

So, how can we have unity in diversity? The point is not that we all have the same opinion, but try to achieve unity in spite of differing opinions. I believe it is a matter of the heart, starting in our own. What is in our heart comes out of our mouth. This goes also for what we write and post online.

I am learning to go slow when I receive an email which evokes a strong opposing opinion in me on a given subject. Instead of answering that email with my immediate reaction, I wait for a day or more. I ask myself what to do with it. Should I answer at all? If yes, what should I say, what would help bring peace and unity – despite the differences of opinion?

Listening to the other side, receiving constructive criticism to my opinion, to what I say, do or write, can be beneficial. I prefer to hear about it before my standpoint is widespread, because once it is out there, I can’t take it back and might have to apologize for it later. When writing something, I want to hear about any mistakes I made or things that are not clearly expressed before it is published. Our counterpart can become our helper.

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I was reminded of an incident in World War I, where German, French and English soldiers were laying down their weapons for some time to celebrate this special occasion instead of fighting each other. The beautiful movie “Joyeux Noel” depicts this “Christmas Truce of 1914”, a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front. Unfortunately, the politicians and higher up military officers did not approve and sent airplanes to restart the fighting.

Let us follow the example of these peace-loving soldiers, lay down our weapons, in words and deeds, and unite around the common goal of working together and helping each other no matter what the challenge may be. Can we try to look beyond the words into the heart of the person who is so strongly opinionated? Why is the other side so heated up; is there fear involved; did one of their loved ones suffer or even die because of a controversial issue at hand? There is always a person behind an opinion, someone who suffers and goes through difficulties like us. Life can be hard so why make it even harder for our fellow men?!

We don’t have to let the media or anything else get us all riled up so that we lose sight of the heart of the person in front of us. We can rather choose the loving way. God loves every person, even the ones who can be a challenge for us personally. – Let us use the Golden Rule!

Copyright © 2021 Aktive Direkt Hilfe e. V.



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