This post is dedicated to Malala.
Someone once asked me what is the connection between my “personal brand” as The Unity Guy™ and our team’s work around character leadership. This morning, I thought to answer that here.
I am deeply passionate as a believer in the power of diversity. In business, I believe it to be a true strategic advantage. The wisdom that comes from the synergy of perspectives and approaches is powerful and strengthening. This power of diversity is true for schools, workplaces, teams, families and communities. I will always be a champion of diversity.
That being said, diversity has its greatest power in finding its common thread; its true and rich unity. Unity is not uniformity. The human body and the ecosystem of the planet both testify that diversity, when working together, is an incredible force.
That all being said, in a world of humanity at school, at work, in business, at home and in community… what unites us a species? If we are not united by color, ethnicity, religion, geography, height, gender or anything really… what do we all have in common?
I respectfully and humbly suggest that it is virtue and character.
We might not universally apply these strengths of character, but we all have access to them. We all can practice and understand and master them, by choice of doing so. Virtue and character is our humanity. Avoiding them constitutes our practice of inhumanity. I believe and contend that being human is a noble calling. Being inhuman is not. In so believing, I suggest that our individual and collective quest is to strive for new heights around virtue and character.
The alienation, apathy, conflict and contention in the world are both manifestations and causes of disunity. They speak to the need we all feel for a better world. This can sound Utopian and “pie in the sky”, but I have yet to come across anything other than these faces and forces of spirit and character that unite us. No blood type or height or color or language. Nothing. But, we all have access to understanding and practicing these things called virtues… and, in so doing, we advance better worlds at school,, work, family and community.
Virtues and character are not soft. Indeed, they are hard; they require work. Still, we all have them in potential. That has been my experience in life… and as a Master Facilitator with The Virtues Project™. This is what inspires me of Malala; she speaks to all of us of our potential.
My chosen life’s work is in being but one champion for the call to high character (it is not perfection, it is perfecting… and it is a journey) as the force for the kind of unity in diversity that is not simply holding hands and singing kumbaya (though nothing wrong it that). I am speaking of the kind of unity that builds local and global communities that are strong and adventurous and filled with capacity for the future. So, for me, character and its exploration, application and manifestation is the path to a unity that can rock the world and the future in the best and most real of ways.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
I am Malala. I am infinite hope.