The Call to Unite

The Call to Unite
“What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.”
 —Edward Kennedy


I've Been Thinking...

This week, there was a lot to think about. There was a lot to talk about, a lot to feel, and a lot to reflect upon as we approach the one-year anniversary of lockdown.

Can you believe that one year has passed? Can you believe that more than 500,000 people have lost their lives to a disease that few of us had even heard of a year ago? Can you believe how much has changed? 

I think it’s fair to say that none of us are the same people we were before Covid shut down our worlds. Lives have been lost and/or dramatically altered. Jobs have disappeared, identities have been reimagined, and priorities have shifted dramatically. It’s as if we are all looking at our lives through new eyes.

What do you see today when you look out? What do you feel about your life and your future? Have you found a silver lining? Does being asked to look for one tick you off? Did you love your life before and hate it now, or is it the other way around? Did Covid force you to stop? Have you had to dig your way up and out? Are you taken aback at where you have found yourself? Do you feel uncertain and alone when you look forward?

I don't know about you, but very little in my life feels the same as it did one year ago. I don't look at the world the same way, nor do I look at my life the same way. And I know I'm not alone. That’s why I’m grateful that the new book The Call to Unite: Voices of Hope and Awakening by my brother Tim Shriver and my friend Tom Rosshirt is coming out this Tuesday. It's the first from my new publishing imprint The Open Field! Yippee! Hooray! 

The Call to Unite, seen here exclusively for the very first time, is a collection of extraordinary voices—everyone from Eckhart Tolle, Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Jay Shetty (all of whom we're excerpting below), and so many others—sharing takeaways, lessons, and stories from this past year. It’s also a handbook for moving forward in these uncertain times. I think the timing is perfect. We all definitely need a handbook for this moment. We need a handbook for how to talk with one another. We need guidance on how to listen. We need a handbook for how to navigate our way forward.

Our world isn’t what it was, and neither are we. Suicide rates are up. Depression is rampant. Misunderstandings are everywhere. Social media feels unsafe (because it is). Racism feels more prevalent. Food lines are longer than ever. Resentment is everywhere. And division is at an all-time high. 

People are not okay. It doesn’t matter if you are you, me, or a displaced member of the British Royal Family. Everyone seems to be struggling with their mental health, emotional health, financial health, and spiritual health. It’s not just Prince Harry who feels trapped, hurt, uprooted, and distanced from family and friends. But perhaps therein lies the hope. 

If a prince and his wife could find themselves displaced and dependent on others to lend them a hand, a home, a sense of security, and a platform to speak their truth...well, that’s one big equalizer of its own, isn’t it? You might also find yourself dependent on others' generosity or on others lending a helping hand. You might also feel trapped, stuck, displaced, and misunderstood.

The truth is, we are all feeling so many of the same things, and we all need one another. Otherwise we are all lost and alone. The Call to Unite will help each of us see how we can unite our own spirits by accepting all of ourselves—our darkness and our light. It will help us see how we can unite our country and our world.

We have no choice. Everything is on the line. Covid pulled back the curtain on how out of sync we all are with our planet, our families, our friends, and our loved ones. This past year has been a rollercoaster in every way. I’ve been optimistic, hopeful, sad, bewildered, confused, and angry. I, like so many, have felt stuck and misunderstood at times. I’ve given up and then I’ve rallied myself and others forward. I’ve lost dreams and had to alter my hopes. I’ve felt deeply alone and scared, and then also deeply connected and encouraged.

This book, which will guide us to The Open Field, contains our hope for the future. It contains the voices of those who can guide us out and up. There are so many people out there who want to help unite our world. There are so many people extending their hands, their hearts, their ideas, their voices, and their friendship. 

The Call to Unite isn’t just a book. It’s a philosophy. It's a movement that is summoning us. My brother Tim and Tom's names are on the cover, but inside there are hundreds of voices reminding you that you are not alone and never will be. 

We have all been through a lot. Yes, some have been through more than others, but it’s not a competition. Everyone has lost. Everyone has been scared. Everyone at different times has felt their foundation crack, if not crumble. I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve experienced. I'm sorry for the hurt and fear you have felt. I’m so sorry you have been disappointed—be it by friends or by your business. In my life, I’ve often found that when I'm dealing with grief and loss, it can be really hard to mark the first anniversary of it. After all, what was and what is are still so fresh in one's mind.

I’m hopeful life will get better for all of us. Believing we are together is so much better than believing we are alone. Believing that someone cares for us is such a relief when we get down and tell ourselves the opposite is true. The truth is, there are more good people than we know. The truth is that people want to help. And, as I wrote last week, we have to be brave enough to ask for help. There is so much help in this beautiful book. So much inspiration in these beautiful voices. So much hope in these lives. This is a love letter from humanity to humanity.

We have a lot to do to get where we want to go as a country, and I know I have work to do to become the person I want to be. But the lessons of hope and love are here. We simply have to open our minds, open our hearts, open our eyes, and let the hope and love in. The Call to Unite is the work of Architects of Change. It’s what will get us to The Open Field. I hope you enjoy the collection of voices curated for you below. I found them collectively hopeful and inspiring, just like all of you who make up this community.

Let’s unite ourselves with others. That’s what The Open Field is about. I imagine us all there reading, sharing, talking, dreaming about what’s in this book, what's in our hearts, what’s on our minds.

I can’t wait to meet you there. 


PRAYER OF THE WEEK                                                   

Dear God, help me open my heart and my mind to hope and love. Help me remember that there is much good in this world. Help us unite. Amen.

The Call to Unite: Voices of Hope and Awakening
Your Soul Knows Best
The Brain Needs Reinventing—Here’s How

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