We’re All Human

I was out with some friends last week.  The conversation turned to the funeral of George H.W. Bush.  One person seated at the table said, “I’m not a political person but for some reason, I’ve been drawn into watching everything.  From the dog laying at his casket to the family entering the Capitol Rotunda, I’m watching all of it.  And it’s emotional.”

Our group engaged in a lively discussion about why most of the country was glued to their television sets.  Many reasons were given.  “He is among the last of the Greatest Generation.”  “He oversaw the collapse of the Soviet Union.”  “He had a great relationship with his wife.”  “He represented a more bipartisan time.”  “He reminded me of my grandfather.”  All of those are valid and contributed to the admiration GHWB deserved and received.

I thought about our conversation as I drove home.  What really struck me was the humanity displayed by the Bush family.  We saw a former president and a former governor, along with their other siblings, grieving publicly.  No matter how successful, wealthy, or privileged a family might be, life events still happen to them.  Not all of those life events are fun.

In the hyper-partisan political environment we live in, my wish is the Bush family’s demonstration of humanity during a challenging time gets us all to think a little bit more.  Think about the human aspect of the person with whom you disagree.  Think about what is going on in that person’s life.  Think about what you have in common.  As the Bush family demonstrated, we all share similar life experiences.

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