Tragedies have united and separated people since time immemorial. Manmade or natural, tragedies are always devastating. The magnitude of devastation may vary. The modern world is plagued more with manmade tragedies than natural. More people die on the roads than in floods and more innocent people die in terrorist attacks than in wars.
At a time when there are forces at play, threatening to separate people on the basis of religion, race, culture, gender, ideology and economics, a conscious attempt must be made to bring people together.
Sporting events are a great unifier. Everyone loves sports. The difference lies in the type of sport. Sporting events can always have multiple sports. There are multipurpose sporting facilities where one can organise everything from track and field events to javelin throw, football to cricket, rugby to tennis and more. A sporting event doesn’t have to be a major gala in a massive stadium or arena. Sporting events can be small local celebrations wherein arcade games can be setup, there can be shorter versions of marathons for kids, there can be walking races for the elderly and wheelchair races for the disabled. There is truly no dearth of ways how you can plan a sporting event.
Music is another great unifier. Sure, people have different tastes in music and that is why bring artists from various genres can bring people from all spheres of life together. A music event could be about the latest pop or rock star but it can also have artists of all ages bringing the young and the old, the rich and the poor in the same place.
Any event that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion and socioeconomic status or cultural barriers can be organised anywhere to unify people. A street party, film screening, pub quiz, gardening gang, swap shop, arts and crafts festival, specific themes celebrating everything from books to local produce, food markets, bonfire night or a cleanup drive in the neighborhood, all such ideas have the power to unite people.
Even religion, gender and race can be used to bring people together but it is a little trickier. There can be special campaigns to have men and women support gay rights, native British or Americans campaigning against racism, immigrants supporting the cause of indigenous people and people of one religion speaking out against the vilification of another religion. The world has always found more reasons to stay united than to fall apart. Such reasons can always form the crux of an event.