Everyday we hear that our country is more divided than ever. We hear (whether we are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, black or white, straight or gay) that our country is being torn apart by the differences that distinguish us.
While I believe that in many ways this is true, every now and again you hear a story that reminds us that we’re all just the same at the most basic levels. The moments when we choose to let our guard down and share a little piece of our humanity, are the ones that make life worth living. One such moment occurred when a fifth-grader named Tyler from Minnesota missed school to listen to President Obama at the Honeywell plant near Minneapolis.
After the president’s speech, Tyler got to chat with the leader of the free world. The POTUS observed that since it was Friday, Tyler probably should be in school. This is where it gets pretty cool…
Mr. Obama took out a small notepad with the Presidential Seal on it and wrote a note to Tyler’s teacher which read, ”Mr. Ackerman, Please excuse Tyler. He was with me. Barack Obama.”
How BOSS is that? Tyler gets to go to school on Monday with a presidential excused absence! He has a piece of history that will be cherished for the rest of his life. The president had one of those momets we all should have more often. He let his guard down and shared his humanity for a brief moment. He put a smile on a kid’s face just by being himself.
How many opportunities are missing to share a brief moment of our own humanity. The more we learn to relate to each other at our most basic level, the smaller the divide that separates us. We will often pass someone in the halls at our jobs without the simplest of acknowledgements. We will see a homeless person on the street and make them even more invisible than many in our society already view them. When we share ourselves for a moment with someone else, we have the opportunity to enrich and to be enriched. Don’t miss out. Offer someone a brief moment of your humanity.