We celebrate a season where we wish complete strangers Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings and Merry Christmas. We support efforts to feed the hungry and care for the homeless. This effort shows love in all kinds of ways. Why can’t we perform this kind of caring throughout the year?

In a season where there is giving with the spirit of compassion, love and concern for others who are struggling, “unity” is a word that comes to mind during this time of the year.

My view is, unity does not mean we agree on all fronts or all issues. But we should certainly agree, based on humanity and human decency, on how we should treat our fellow man. I should not want you hungry if I am not; I should not want you homeless if there is something I can do to provide shelter; I should not want to treat you badly if I don’t want to be treated the same way.

In this community, we stand on the precipice of something great in comparison to other communities our size — we can do something great, in a unified manner. We should agree that human suffering, hatred and poverty are things that we, as neighbors, can eliminate and improve. We have the ability to do something rather than sit around and lament about how bad things are.

There are conversations that I have had with people who probably have different social and political views than I do, but we agree that the most important things we should do is serve mankind in a way that reflects the common good.

There are those who cry “unity” when it is convenient and self-serving — and then there are those who seek the true meaning of unity by providing selfless sacrifices. We seem to live in a time when, once a year, we celebrate giving and kindness for a season. Let us begin to look at what might be said of us when we no longer exist and make an effort all year to care for our fellow man. We will often discover that we receive much more than we give.

This is a time, Romans, to take advantage of what we have to offer as individuals and make a sincere effort to give in a collective way, all year, not for a season. That is what UNITY is.

Charles Love is a co-founder of the North Rome Community Action Committee.

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