The Uniting Power of a Common Enemy

I wouldn't label myself a die-hard J.J. Abrams fan. I won't watch something simply because his name is attached as a producer. That said, I have been known to be addicted to his shows more than once. Lost, for example. Alias, too. And, my latest Netflix-binging indulgence, Fringe. Question: What do all of these shows have in common? Other than time manipulation, atypical pregnancies, and unpredictable storylines?

Answer: Individuals who, under normal circumstances, would never naturally band together, but they do. All in the name of defeating a common enemy. (I'd give you specific examples, but no one likes a spoiler.)

This idea of unlikely allies isn't just a J.J. Abrams concept, though. It's happened in history, too.

Let's rewind back to the 1850s. England and France. These two countries had been enemies for hundreds of years. Yet a shared desire to stop Russia from overtaking the Ottoman Turks and expanding its geographical reach further south resulted in an unlikely union between the two nations. Not only did it mark France's King Louis-Philippe as the first monarch to visit English royalty since 1356, but it also ended with the Russians' plans thwarted. All you history buffs out there may recognize this as an ever-short-summary of the Crimean War.

So what do 21st-century television and 19th-century world history have to do with you and your marriage? Or me and mine?

I think there's an important lesson we can learn from these two examples. It's this: Common enemies have a way of uniting people.

[Read the rest of the article at Fulfilling Your Vows.]