We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon.
--Konrad Adenauer, statesman (1876-1967)
(141:5.1) One of the most eventful of all the evening conferences at Amathus was the session having to do with the discussion of spiritual unity. James Zebedee had asked, "Master, how shall we learn to see alike and thereby enjoy more harmony among ourselves?" When Jesus heard this question, he was stirred within his spirit, so much so that he replied: "James, James, when did I teach you that you should all see alike? I have come into the world to proclaim spiritual liberty to the end that mortals may be empowered to live individual lives of originality and freedom before God. I do not desire that social harmony and fraternal peace shall be purchased by the sacrifice of free personality and spiritual originality. What I require of you, my apostles, is spirit unity—and that you can experience in the joy of your united dedication to the wholehearted doing of the will of my Father in heaven. You do not have to see alike or feel alike or even think alike in order spiritually to be alike. Spiritual unity is derived from the consciousness that each of you is indwelt, and increasingly dominated, by the spirit gift of the heavenly Father. Your apostolic harmony must grow out of the fact that the spirit hope of each of you is identical in origin, nature, and destiny.
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman who served as the first chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963. From 1946 to 1966, he was the first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian democratic party he co-founded, which under his leadership became the dominant force in the country.
A devout Roman Catholic and member of the Catholic Centre Party, Adenauer was a leading politician in the Weimar Republic, serving as Mayor of Cologne (1917–1933) and as president of the Prussian State Council (1922–1933). In the early years of the Federal Republic, he switched focus from denazification to recovery, and led his country from the ruins of World War II to becoming a productive and prosperous nation that forged close relations with France, the United Kingdom and the United States. During his years in power, West Germany achieved democracy, stability, international respect and economic prosperity (Wirtschaftswunder, German for "economic miracle").
Adenauer belied his age by his intense work habits and his uncanny political instinct. He displayed a strong dedication to a broad vision of market-based liberal democracy and anti-communism. A shrewd and strategic politician, Adenauer was deeply committed to a Western-oriented foreign policy and restoring the position of West Germany on the world stage. He worked to restore the West German economy from the destruction of World War II to a central position in Europe, presiding over the German economic miracle together with his Minister of Economics, Ludwig Erhard, and was a driving force in re-establishing national military forces (the Bundeswehr) and intelligence services (the Bundesnachrichtendienst) in West Germany in 1955 and 1956. Adenauer opposed recognition of the rival German Democratic Republic or the Oder–Neisse line. He skillfully used these points in electoral campaigns against the SPD, which was more sympathetic to co-existence with the GDR and the post-war borders. Adenauer made West Germany a member of NATO. Although also a proponent of European unity, Adenauer pursued strong Atlanticist links with the United States as a counterbalance to France.
Adenauer, who resigned as Chancellor at the age of 87 and remained head of the governing CDU until his retirement at 90, was often dubbed "Der Alte" ("the old one"). According to British politician Roy Jenkins, he was "the oldest statesman ever to function in elected office" and the oldest head of government of a major country in modern European history. As of 2021, Adenauer remains the oldest-ever European head of government and one of the oldest elected European statesmen (paralleled only by Sandro Pertini and Giorgio Napolitano); however, the governments of Tunisia and Malaysia had older leaders during the 2010s.