We Are More Alike Than we Know

As I observed it all, never before had I felt so convinced that we do stand under one flag as Americans.

I attended the Women’s March on Washington; I was there late in the day but so grateful for the experience. 
As I observed it all, never before had I felt so convinced that we do stand under one flag as Americans. 
It was evident that YES indeed, I am part of one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 
I felt that to my core. 
I have never before seen those kinds of crowds.
Instantly, I took mental notes of mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and individuals from every walk of life. The old, the young, brothers, sisters, in every flavor. Parents were supporting, guiding, cheering and seemingly ushering their next in line into a future of vision and hope. The scene said, “This is what we do; we are America and together we can!” 
In 2009, my son Ian and I followed Barack Obama’s inaugural train from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC. It was exciting as we pulled into DC to see the then-President-elect’s motorcade with blue flashing lights.
The experience was empowering. We felt so encouraged as if we could accomplish anything. 
In my mind, that’s what real leadership does: it allows us to know we can reach for the stars, and that possibility is just the first step towards reality. 
My son and I sat in the front seat of the car shouting as if we were lottery winners, as if our cheering actually made us a part of the team. Barack Obama was our guy! 
That same feeling was evident during the Women’s March on Washington: it was an indicator of possibilities. 
Everything I saw at the march was about love, peace and honoring all. I felt a commonality: so many people in the world want what we want. 
This experience resonated with me about my mission, the work of Less Cancer.
Now more than ever, we need people to stand as one to protect the health of future generations. We need the power of our nation working together to help protect all of America’s health. 
Every day I deal with bullies and negative thinkers. It’s critical that we do not get distracted by the static, but rather work harder and smarter for solutions.
As we see a change in policymakers, we need to figure out enterprising ways we can all work together. That does not mean overlooking what’s wrong, but rather confidently and persistently keeping an eye on goals and finding new paths.
Even though I engage with people who don’t share my outlook on many issues, I say, “bring it.” We can often find solutions by working with “contrary” thinkers — we just have to work smarter. There are many benefits to networking and sharing solutions outside of our norms to give birth to new ideas. 
For me, sure, they may not think the same way, maybe they are combative, but I have to remember that I am working for a better future with less cancer for everybody, including that person and their loved ones.
We all breathe the same air. We all live under one sky. Let’s not only see how we can’t work with each other, but rather ask how we can find common ground.

Originally published at medium.com

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