After years of planning, the United States has another rover on the surface of the Red Planet. Well done, NASA and the Perseverance team! Thank you for all the hard work that you and countless number of support people have done to make this possible. Truly a milestone in the exploration of our solar system. With luck, the copter will work better than planned. I was so pleased to see the countdown today and look at the control room. A multiracial, multiethnic, multi gender group of individuals came together and achieved something greater than any of them could have done by themselves. People of all ages. Amazing. I remember how few women were graduating from engineering/science school when I was an undergrad. Look at them now. America at its best – where opportunity is open to everyone, where excellence is achieved through hard work and study. The words of John F. Kennedy still ring true – we do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Well done!
Almost every city has one. And in New York, blocks away from the financial district, blocks away from the Freedom Tower, people live lives in a world familiar to me. Vegetables and other produce neatly arranged in stalls, perused by eagle eyed shoppers; the aroma of freshly cooked food punctuating the cold autumn air. A trek through a neighborhood that while not quite the America of the town centers, is still unmistakably American. A reminder of the diversity, almost uniquely American, that makes this country a great nation.
Ethnic neighborhoods still dot the cities and towns we live in, but underneath it all is the common thread that binds us all. We are different and yet we are the same. It doesn’t mean that we need to sublimate cultures to create a homogeneous whole. Who wants to look at a grey wall? We do need to understand, however, that maintaining a separate identity, a separate belief system is not the best way for people to understand one another. If we are to be one, we need a common sense of purpose, a common goal, a common dream. To better one’s self but not at the expense of others. To work hard, to reap the benefits of hard work; not to expect things to be handed to you, but always willing to help others when help is needed. We may not all look alike, but we share the same mitochondrial DNA from some ancient Eve.
Share what you have. Share what you know. Do not be afraid to learn. Forget your preconceptions. When you understand others, you understand yourself.