Allow me to set aside my focus on the racial conflict in America that seems so intractable – or at least let me look away from the dark to the light. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend one day where all divisions disappeared (except the one that keeps Chicago White Sox fans from rejoicing with most of the world at the end of the longest losing streak in sports history). Through fortuitous circumstances, and the kindness of friends, this author of The Color of Character had the unbelievable ride of his life. He rode atop trolly #3 in the parade of all parades: The Chicago Cubs World Series victory parade.
The view from atop that double-decker bus, as we wended our way along a parade route that stretch for over six miles from Wrigley Field to Grant Park was perhaps a glimpse of the view Dr. King might have seen from that mountaintop in his famous dream. We passed countless faces of every age, color, and I have to assume religion, sexual orientation and any other way we choose to accentuate our differences. There appeared a microcosm of all humanity standing cheek by jowl, wildly ecstatic, joyfully united, and without incident. Those differences that give birth to suspicions, fears, or anger were banished for a few glorious hours. Although this halcyon time was brief, it was telling. There are commonalities around which we can unite. And if we focus on those, then there is a positive base from which to launch civil discourse on our differences.
While I have not been to the mountaintop, I have been to the top of a trolly, on a dazzling sunny autumn day in the Windy City, and I like what I saw. It made me hopeful. I suspect I will soon return to a more fretful outlook, but I can look back on this post and remember that for one afternoon we were all Cubs fans.