Last Saturday at a nearby grocery store a man came to a neighborhood meeting where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with her constituents. He came with a gun. He fired, it killed, it wounded. And the world watched as the results unfolded.
A friend and I waited in line for six hours to be able to get into the arena where President Obama was to speak at the memorial service. It was a powerful experience and I was honored to be a part of it. Even so, it was a hot day in Tucson, and we were not allowed to have food or drinks with us. Towards the end of the president’s speech, my stomach began to growl, and my eyes began to droop. I was looking at President Obama, right in front of me, and I couldn’t help but think, even for just a split second- I need this to finish up because I need food, and a bed…
And once again, I am reminded of our humanity. Even the president of our country needs to satisfy those same basic needs that my body was reminding me of during his address. We all do. That night we honored heroes- the doctors, first response persons, citizens who went out on a limb to save another. It is amazing to be reminded of what we are capable- our capacity for good; and, at the same time, our capacity for evil. I am a human being- just like the man searching for a job staying at the shelter, just like the high-heeled woman who stands in line at Starbucks every morning, just like Daniel Hernandez- the young intern who saved the life of Gabrielle Giffords, just like Mr. Obama, and dare I say, just like Jered Loughner.
We all came into the world in the same way- through an original bond from mother and father. And I believe that there is love in those bonds, for without an original love, there would be nothing to call “broken.” I challenge you to seek out that commonality in each person you encounter. Perhaps we can then work together to restore that original love that has torn in too many places. Peace be with you all!
“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Desmond Tutu