Embracing Commonality

For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.  — President John F. Kennedy, Speech at The American University, Washington, D.C., June 10, 1963

Right now, in New York City, a young professional is commuting home on the subway from her job downtown.  Across the country, an artist is creating new works in her studio in Los Angeles.

Right now in Northern Virginia, a newly married couple is snuggling together on the couch and relaxing in front of the television.  In Portland, Oregon, a young couple is heading out to dinner.

Right now, in Vancouver, Washington, new parents are feeding their baby daughter.  In northern New Jersey, a family is settling down at the kitchen table for dinner.

As a society, we tend to concentrate on our differences.  It makes sense; we understand what we see immediately happening around us in our own ways, and attempt to group and classify and deconstruct in order to understand the world.  But no matter what culture or background you come from, young or old, or even liberal or conservative, there are fewer differences between people than we think.

We have traveled to places across the country and around the world, and we’ve found one thing to be consistently true: People are trying to live their lives, as best they can, wherever they are.

Tonight marks the end of a turbulent election season, and who knows what tomorrow will look like? As President Kennedy noted, regardless of what your views are or who wins, “let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.”

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