Unity is proud to be unapologetically inclusive. So what does that mean? Of course it means including everyone of all races, ethnicities, classes, sexual orientations, abilities, and gender identities. But it goes beyond that. It’s also about including people we may not see eye-to-eye with.
Being unapologetically inclusive is seeing the worth, the divinity, and the light of God within every person—a divinity that transcends individual identities, backgrounds, and behavior. Here are four things that are understood by those who are truly unapologetically inclusive:
1. There is more that unites us than divides us.
We are all complex human beings. We have the same basic needs for food and shelter, but many other experiences are also universal. We all love, we all hurt, we all laugh, we all cry, we all feel fear, and we all want to be happy.
Imagine you see someone who is about to get hit by a car but you have a chance to save them. Would you stop before saving them to find out what they believe or what their background is? No. Because in these moments, nothing matters more than life itself.
2. Identity is only one aspect of who you are.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. It’s okay to honor and celebrate who we are on the human level. However, while race, gender identity, sexual orientation, faith, class, nationality, age, and ability are all important aspects of who we are, they are not more important than our spiritual identity.
I am a woman. I am also disabled. I am also white. But these aspects of my human identity don’t affect my inner divinity. None of them change the fact that we are all one—connected in Spirit, unified. We are called to see the divinity within each other. As Charles Fillmore said, “God is not an exclusive being, nor does he dwell in an inaccessible place apart from his creations. He is around you, about you, within you, without you. You are God yourself.”
3. Being unapologetically inclusive does not mean turning a blind eye to injustice.
We are all divine, yet humans can hurt each other deeply. Being inclusive doesn’t mean we condone everything someone says or does. All actions have consequences, and on a human level, we will inevitably reap those consequences in one way or another. We can acknowledge someone’s problematic behaviors and opinions and fight against injustice while still seeing the inherent worth within everyone.
Being unapologetically inclusive is seeing the worth, the divinity, and the light of God within every person—a divinity that transcends their individual identities and backgrounds.
4. The unapologetically inclusive celebrate diversity.
To be unapologetically inclusive is to be so grounded in the things that unite us as human beings that we can honor each other’s differences. We all have different backgrounds, experiences, ideas, desires, and ways of looking at the world. Diversity of backgrounds, identities, and ideas is not only beautiful, but helps us all to grow and evolve as people. The more cultures, beliefs, families, and ways of life we are exposed to, the better we can understand each other.
So at the same time we appreciate the unique aspects of one another, it’s more important to reflect the divinity we all share back to each other—to understand that we are all more than we appear to be on the surface and to encourage each other to fulfill our highest potential.
Eric Butterworth, Unity minister and author, said, “You have the capacity to be more, to reach higher, to achieve the very depths and heights of your potential and Godself. It's always present, and ours is the privilege and the time to begin to work at it is today.”
What makes Unity unapologetically inclusive is that we acknowledge this potential. The capacity to achieve it exists in everyone. By acknowledging that we are all connected in Spirit, we can remind each other of the inner divinity that allows us to be more than we appear to be.