I note the obvious differences in the human family.
Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy.
Some declare their lives are lived as true profundity,
and others claim they really live the real reality.
The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white.
I note the obvious differences between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.
These are intriguing thoughts from Human Family, a poem written by the late American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. An Apple commercial featuring Angelou’s reading of this poem aired in the days before and after the recent presidential election. Of course that was no accident. Angelou’s poem is a refreshing reminder that we should all consider, particularly during this time when our political climate is riddled with such negativity and divisiveness. Her thoughtful words refocus us on the aspirations we share for our families, our communities and our world, rather than on the differences perceived as dividers.
I certainly understand that people are very passionate about politics and our elections, but I choose to believe that at the very core, it is driven by our love for country. Yes, we have different ideas about what is best for our country’s future, but I believe we can all come together and overcome these challenges and realize that we, as Americans, are far more alike than we are different. Over the next few months and years, what I hope and pray for our nation, is that we will regain our focus and dedication. We are the United States of America, and we are indeed one amazing nation. Fostering an inclusive culture is intrinsic to our success.
My wonderful 87-year-old mother frequently says, “Mark, I’ve never seen the world and our nation in such a mess.” I know where my mom is coming from, but I remind her that America is resilient and strong. America, like every nation, has had challenges. And although the issues we face as a nation are challenging enough, we have gone through much tougher times in our nation’s history, like World War II and the Civil War.
I think one of the byproducts of our current climate is going to be the incredible and wonderful diversity so many people actually are embracing more than ever in America today. Texas Children’s is a demonstration of that assertion. Embracing all races, genders and religions was at the core of our founding.
Our founding fathers, James Abercrombie and Leopold Meyer, wanted Texas Children’s to be a hospital for all children regardless of race, religion and economic circumstances. They wanted to make sure that we were here to take care of all children regardless of that family’s ability to pay. That principle has been woven into the fabric of our culture at Texas Children’s – we are all for one and one for all. We are not focused on “I” or “me.” WE work together to meet the needs of families across our great nation who come to us for care – including the underserved, the uninsured and the disenfranchised.
That is why we created Texas Children’s Health Plan – the nation’s first HMO for children – our community health centers, our second community hospital opening in The Woodlands later this year, and supported the implementation of the STAR Kids program to help families manage the care of children with complex medical needs. Many of the families we serve are those who, due to circumstances often times beyond their control, simply could not access or afford the health care they deserve.
United, we stand in the gap at Texas Children’s to extend a helping hand and give these families the lift they need. I trust that our nation will do the same. I trust we will find a way to collectively unify and emerge stronger. We will do that because regardless of the news and naysayers, I believe we want so many of the same things for our nation. We are after all, more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.