1st Day of #Kwanzaa: #Umoja (Unity)

KwanzaaDay1Habari Gani?

December 26th is the day of Umoja (Unity).

It is “E Pluribus, Unum”. It is being the sum of our parts. It is understanding that our individual experiences – by shades of skin color, by ethnonational origin, by historical accident, by circumstance of birth, by the state of our bodies, even by “mere” affinity – are shared by somebody, somewhere, and that they are points at which we can connect and change somebodies’ destinies.

Umoja is the state in which we embrace these shared experiences and understand how these experiences are treated by both ourselves and the larger society.

It is through Umoja that we understand that until all are at peace, none are at peace; until all are treated with justice, none are treated with justice; until all are free, none are free.

It can also imply symbosis and balance. Even one who is an island to oneself is surrounded by a body of water, and the behavior of that water impacts anyone who lives on that island. One who lives in the middle of a vast forest is impacted by whatever impacts the stability of that forest.

In other words, the balance, the state of play, the causality of things, how nothing takes place in a vacuum – all imply that everything in existence is, has been, and will be impacted by another action. In this, there is Umoja.

So whether we embrace or are indifferent to the world around us and the shared experiences which are similar to our own, we have Umoja. We can be united by accidental pain, we can be united by intentional pleasure, we can be united by experiences which impact us or by actions which we wish to carry out.

We are united in our individual bodies, just as we are united in our larger society. And whatever action we take, no matter how isolated it may be, will impact ourselves and likely someone else.

Let’s maximize the positive, ethical actions in our lives within the framework of this Umoja. Let’s recognize the Umoja of all things and all actions.

Harambee.

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