How Do Societies and People Unite?

How Do Societies and People Unite?

Unity in a society is often an overlooked, ignored facet. A reason why is because people just assume that any groups of individuals living amongst each other in the same geographical area are bound to come together and co-exist. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Co-existence, unity, solidarity, cohesiveness, and community are social fabrics that take time to develop, build, preserve and maintain. It’s not as simple as bringing a group of people together and sticking in the same neighborhood. And so, societies and people all work to become united, and to co-exist, whether they realize it or not. One way of doing so is through communication and engagement, and more specifically, through civil discourse.

Civil discourse is when people come together to discuss their most dire dilemmas and the issues that concern them the most. Social issues like taxes, citizenship, abortion rights, minimum wage, and more are all issues that ought to be discussed in an open forum, away from peddling politics and foreign intervention. Civil discourse is the arena to do just that. A reason why is because the key to civil discourse is by being civil. There is no discourse, dialogue, and debate without any civility. One must be civil by respecting the other person’s opinion and by taking it into account. If you go into a civil discussion with the intent of canceling the other person out, or going for a win/lose scenario, then the discourse has already been lost. Concessions and consideration must be given whenever you are seeking conflict resolution. If this is practiced legitimately and often, then it will serve as a building block and a foundation for people in a society to come together, which in turn makes that society grow.

Societies and people unite through civil discourse. They are divided through unrest or extremist debate. Extremist debate is when individuals opt to cancel the opinion or the rights of another person in order to bulldoze his own. Whether or not they succeed in doing so is beyond the point. The of the matter remains that that is unconducive to building a strong, stable society.  In fact, such antics pave the way for more destructive scenarios. Scenarios like riots, violent protests, and in some instances civil war. That’s why societies and their people must exhaust all efforts to see that civil discourse is achieved and maintained. It is the only way to unite a community or a country, and the best way to reach a solution to a common problem.

Civility does not mean censorship. Nor does it mean total and utter concession or relinquishment of rights or opinions. Civility means acknowledging that an opposing opinion exists, and working to find the middle ground or the bridge between your stances and that of your counterpart. Through this societies are born, and through this societies unite. It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. People spend years to achieve it. But once they do, it’s worth all the effort.

Ellen Hollington

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