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The Best of Us


Earlier this week, my brother sent me a link to this commercial for the Winter Olympics that features skier Lindsey Vonn and ends with the tagline “The Best of U.S.”

It’s an inspiring, uplifting and motivating video. And, as usual, it got me thinking. It got me thinking about the best of us, and about all of us.

This was a week when political leaders told us about the state of our union — in other words, the status of “us.” Media pundits argued over whose point of view was valid, who could take credit for what, and whose facts were right.

I watched and listened to it all, and as the week wound down, what stayed with me —what really rose above the noise — were the stories I read or heard about the best of us. The men and women that President Trump singled out in the House gallery, like Preston Sharp, who at just 12 years old has made it his mission to lay flags and carnations on the graves of all veterans. The hard-working Americans from Fall River who gathered to hear my cousin Rep. Joe Kennedy III give the Democratic response. Americans who, as Kennedy said, quietly serve, rescue, help and heal every single day. What stayed with me were these people’s stories. They are the best of “us.”

As I wrote last week, the division of “us” is what really breaks my heart. Especially all of the news that highlights the worst of us. I believe that highlighting the best of us is what this newsletter strives to do on a weekly basis. That’s not naive. It’s a point of view. It’s a perspective.

Both political parties agree on one thing: the larger us is strong because we the people are strong. We the people are hard-working, committed, motivated and good. We may not all be Olympic athletes. We may not all go to the Super Bowl. We may not all get singled out at the State of the Union. But, we make up that union. We are what makes this place the best country on earth.

Us. You and me. Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets and his wife, Rebecca, who were highlighted at the State of the Union for adopting a baby from a heroin addict on the streets. The men of the military. All of the Architects of Change we showcase this week and every week. Individuals like Bill Gates, for what he’s doing for Alzheimer’s, and also for what he’s already done for so many other diseases this world faces. Rev. Ed Bacon, who works on the frontlines of humanity every day helping people see the best in themselves. (We share videos featuring both of them with you in today’s Sunday Paper.)

The best of us. That’s what I’m focused on. Doing my best. Not worrying about what someone else is doing or making. I’m focused on my purpose.

Sure, Lindsey Vonn can ski better than I can. Sure, Tom Brady can throw a football better than I can. (He’s also really good at getting his mind focused before a big game. Read our Q&A with him from last year about training “the mind of a champion.”) But, my belief is that we all have greatness inside of us.



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