Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa, the principle of Umoja or Unity. This serves as a reminder to strive for unity within our community and nurture the bonds between people that transcend divisions.

Unity does not mean uniformity. True unity celebrates diversity while fostering a sense of connection and interdependence between all community members. There is beauty in differences, whether in perspective, culture, ability, age, or background. But there is also common ground and shared purpose that forms the ties that bind.

As we light this unity candle, we must reflect on building bridges of understanding between all people, not walls of division. Though differing perspectives and complex histories haunt our collective hopes intersect with those of our neighbors. We must see the nuanced humanity in one another. For in understanding, there lies wisdom. In open hands, there lies hope for the futures we face together. Our fates and future depend on our shared strengths, creativity, and wisdom.

As a transformational specialist, my mission is to nurture the self-mastery of creative professionals – because creativity that pairs talent with wisdom and emotional intelligence can profoundly influence society.

Artists, writers, and innovators – their unique platforms today deeply impact public discourse, popular culture, and how we see one another. When creators raise social consciousness to promote messages of empathy, and unity to uplift others through their works, they play a powerful role in defusing the destructive forces that divide humanity.

The stories we tell; the songs we sing; the apps we design and the dreams we dare to chase – all shape perspectives with immense consequences. As creatives harness their gifts not just to entertain but to progress and heal, they lead the way in bridging understanding between all people. Creative self-mastery increases our collective mastery casting a light of hope into the shadows of injustice.

Food for consideration:

1. What does unity mean to you and what resonated most from this passage?
2. Where do you think greater unity is most needed today in communities locally or globally?
3. What is one small step you can take today to help unite someone with a community, identity, or experience different than your own?

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