Want to Know What Unites Us?



Was there anyone not blown away by Lady Gaga’s performance in the Super Bowl?  It didn’t matter if you were a Patriot fan or an Atlanta Falcons fan. It didn’t matter if you didn’t like football and had just tuned in for the commercials.  What we all saw in that stellar half time show was art.  It was daring.  It was beautiful.  It connected us all.


I don’t know about you, but after the half time show, it was a relief to check my twitter feed.  After weeks of social media outcry about Betsy DeVos’s nomination for Secretary of Education or Donald Trump’s latest rant, what I saw was a united front.  Everyone, it seemed, was singing the praises of an artist.


I think there are terrible, horrible, nefarious decisions being made in our country right now.  But what may be even more horrific is how this divide is scaring our minds and hearts toward each other.


And Lady GaGa’a performance was beyond socio economics, race, ethnicity.  It was beyond identity as a Republican or Democrat.  It was beyond the constructs of identity often used to classify and divide.


What I know for sure is that an artist brought it last Sunday night.  God Bless America, she sang.  Land that I love.  And I felt a little better about being a human being.  I felt a little more hopeful after feeling shattered for weeks.


It is cliché to say that what unites us is greater than what divides us. 


But still, I believe it is true.

There are things that unite us.

We are more the same than different.


Dammit all. 


It seems to me that we are all hanging out together in one Big Super Bowl.  The question is, are we going to get up and dance?  Or are we going to remain in our seats and choose not to move toward each other?  What if we focused on the music?  What if we leaned into our universal-creative-kind-of selves? 


If we as a people, are ever going to figure out this democracy, this crazy and deeply flawed experiment that we know as the United States of America. If it is going to survive,  a new set of communication skills will need to become dominate.  A communication skill set based on what is common among us, but that still leaves room for the complexities of our differences. This is the universal language that art taps us into. This movement is going to be led by artists. 


And if Picasso was correct, we were all born artists.  The only question is how to remain artists once we have become adults.