March 19, 2020 | Lynn King, IFA Intercessor
It is unusual that a book co-authored by two politicians is as compelling as Unified: How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country.
Tim Scott, Republican Senator from S.C., and Trey Gowdy, recent Republican Representative from S.C., have given us an authentic window, not only into their souls, but also into the workings of the U.S. Congress at a time when “unity” is in very short supply. To help the reader understand where they are coming from, they share about their upbringing and background in South Carolina—where they have come from and how that has shaped who they are, how they feel about things, and what they believe. They also share who the people were in their lives who took the time to help them become the men they are now. Some of these mentors are predictable, but some surprising. They both share a strong faith, which is just one of the things that helps them to appreciate, support, and love one another and each other’s families.
Their backgrounds are as diverse as they come and their experiences are equally diverse. Consequently, as they continue to forge their friendship, they soon see that they react differently to events that are happening in this country. But, because they are friends and their trust level has grown over time, they are willing to “step into the shoes” of each other and really listen to WHY their reactions are what they are. They encouraged the reader to do this as well.
What I really like about the book and their honest story is that it is hopeful and inspiring at a time when it is so difficult to have any hope for our country that seems so irrevocably divided. One thought from the book that has really stuck with me is this: “If we need any line of division in our culture let it be this: people of good conscience versus people who seek to do harm. No other lines are necessary.”
They have both learned to disregard all of the other divisive characteristics when they meet people, work with people, or try to help people. They consistently try to see every situation and every event from the side opposite their own. They also try to establish in new relationships or situations what things they have in common with the other person or group. Being able to see that most of us really only want the same things for our families and our country helps us to begin the process of finding common ground on whatever potentially contentious issue or situation is at hand.
This is a good book for anyone in a leadership position, anyone seeking to understand neighbors, co-workers, family members, or others who we encounter on a daily basis. We often make knee-jerk assumptions about people who are different in any way : color, race, ideology, faith, gender, and so on. If we are to decrease the ever growing sense of hateful division within our country, we must be willing to try and to learn some new ways of going about things. These thoughtful and hard working men show us how to take the time and make the time to really, really come alongside anyone who comes into our lives for any reason. Sit down, have a meal or a cup of coffee, ask questions and share some stories. Don’t just write them off and once again assume you know exactly who they are and what they think. You might actually be happy to find out you are wrong!