Unity or Separation? Some Thoughts on Scotland

With the recent vote regarding separation from the United Kingdom happening in Scotland, I thought I would take a moment and share a few thoughts about it. My wife and I had the privilege of visiting Scotland in Late April 2014, as a guest at a friend’s wedding.

First of all, let me say that Scotland is an absolutely beautiful country, with very warm and friendly people. We visited Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife and ventured though the countryside, even traveling to see the North Sea. The most impressive part to me was the architecture. Not surprising, given my profession. Like candy to the eyes.

During our guided tour by my friend, we saw absolutely stunning farmland during rapeseed season, with fields of yellow.

scottish-rapeseed

We saw the first tennis court ever built at Falkland Palace (click here for a short video).

falkland-palace-first-tennis-court

I even ate kippers for breakfast! When in Scotland, right?

scottish-kippers

Especially stunning was the oldest synagogue in Scotland, Garnet Hill. It was so detailed, so eloquent, inside and out.

I could go on and on, you get the idea. Such a beautiful and majestic countryside, with so much diversity, so may elevations. It seems that all of the UK is like this, so I am told by my friend. Being a native Floridian, I am not used to such majestic beauty. I mean when I see a beach sure. But when I see some elevation, it, well…..um…..has an odor, if you know what I mean.

When I heard about the separation vote, I began to worry about the future of this beautiful country. Was separation the right thing to do? Could Scotland survive? What would be of the political atmosphere? Would it affect schooling? Economy? Military? So many questions entered my mind. Mind you, I was merely a tourist for a week, but I still felt connected to Scotland somehow. Probably because I did not want to leave when it was time to return!!!

Almost with uncanny timing, I read Rabbi Yoseph Kahanov’s weekly Lamplighter article on Friday, 9/19/2014, just a day or two after the vote, which stated:

“Unity, what a beautiful thing. Its virtuous qualities are echoed by politicians and clergymen as well as leaders, activists and ordinary folk of all ilk and class. The word conjures up fuzzy images of an idyllic state of existence – a world in which there is no strife – where humanity is bound by a single objective and a single mind and heart.

“But is unity a real concept, or is it a wishful fantasy? Can humanity actually come together, with a single heart and mind towards any single objective?

“We humans are so different from one another. We possess extremely diverse desires, inclinations, interests and taste. This is not only because of our selfish and animal nature and agenda, which, to be sure, can take due credit for our propensity towards disagreement and contention. But our very minds tend to operate on different frequencies by mere biological design.

“No, we humans do not think alike, nor were we meant to. The Talmud states: “Just as no two people are identical in image, so are no two people identical in their way of thinking.” Each of our brains is wired somewhat differently, and that’s how it was meant to be. Given the above can we even dream of unity and single-mindedness?”

To read the full article in the weekly Lamplighter from Chabad Lubavitch of Northeast Florida, click here.

I was taken aback by these amazing words of insight. I guess the Scots were also, as they voted to remain unified. This unity is something that should be appreciated and cherished. The unity we have is a gift. I, for one, feel the Scots made a great choice. What are your thoughts?

Christopher Gould – President

Gould Design, Inc.