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Kwanzaa is an African American celebration of family, community and culture. It begins the day after Christmas through New Year’s Day observing seven key principles derived from an African philosophy over the seven days.

The first principle is UNITY or Umoja (Swahili).

Two verses of scripture came to my mind when thinking about Unity.

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” ~ Psalm 133:1

Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

So much can be won or lost based upon unity or the lack thereof. Unity of purpose is key to the advancement of interests or endeavors in organizational or group dynamics. Unity is when all parts interconnect for the success of the whole. Consider the parts of a puzzle, parts of a music or dance ensemble, when all the parts come together harmoniously, something beautiful and expressive is created.

It is always rewarding, ‘good and pleasant’, to experience the achievement and fulfillment of completing a task or goal when unity prevails. Unity does not mean there is no individuality, but that all the individual pieces are fitly joined together, performing complementary roles, contributing skills or talents, and working interdependently for the success of the whole.

Relationship building, sharing information, commitment to the goal and to persons involved is critical to establishing unity. Understanding the purpose, communicating, and interacting respectfully are also important to creating and maintaining unity.

Like all things of worth, Unity is a state of being that we must be eager to pursue, work toward, strive for, and endeavor to keep.

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” `~ 1 Peter 3:8 ESV