Our CEO, Nisha Anand, is alive today because a Muslim family hid her Hindu grandparents in the midst of a violent conflict. That brave act to find common ground exemplifies what Dream Corps is all about, as Nisha explained in a recent TEDx Talk.
It is also a story that is resonating at this moment of crisis in our country. In just hours after it was uploaded, tens of thousands of people watched Nisha’s Ted Talk without any prompting or promotion.
People are seeking solutions and rediscovering what it means to care for our neighbors. What Nisha had to say about the “radical act of choosing common ground” touched a nerve. It is worth a few moments of your time to watch:
The coronavirus pandemic is revealing just how tired most Americans are of politics that are 90 percent battleground and 10 percent common ground. But as soon as we start thinking about common ground, all the usual nay-saying questions pop into our heads. Didn’t bipartisanship get us mass incarceration, climate inaction, and economic peril for communities of color? Doesn’t common ground mean compromising our values? Doesn’t it mean giving power to people who are pursuing policies we think are awful?
Nisha’s TEDx Talk reminds us that there is nothing weak about choosing common ground. Common ground means putting humanity above all else. It requires an inner strength and commitment to love that can break down walls. It asks us to put ending suffering and saving lives above our partisan loyalties. It means stepping up to support your neighbor, your community, and those hurting most. No wonder it is resonating right now!
There were many ugly things about America when our nation began. Slavery and genocide are at the top of the list. But right from the beginning, there was also a beautiful dream of people joining together to build something better. Generation after generation since, people chose to do something radical. They decided to keep pressing to make America look more like that dream, and less like it did when it was founded. They took the radical step of finding common ground and believing it would lead them to rediscovering the American Dream. The challenge for the rest of us is to follow in the footsteps of those who came before us. In these times, we must call on each other to be courageous and unrelenting in protecting the most vulnerable among us. The radical action we take today is the key to building our better future.