Oct. 19, 2004, 6:30 p.m. Millennium Park two weeks before election day - As I roller blade through the park I see at least four youth soccer games in progress, a youth football game and two more teams in preparation for the next game. There is activity at the main playground and at the skateboard park and, as per usual, there are many other users of the trail, runners and walkers alike.
As I contemplate the closeness and bitterness of many of our political races and the differences among the voters, this experience in Millennium Park is a reminder of what makes up our United States. People with different political beliefs, different religious beliefs, different ethnic backgrounds, and just some different ideas about life in general are together in this setting, recreating, competing (with a sense of good sportsmanship, hopefully), exchanging handshakes and smiles, and simply co-existing.
After Nov. 2 some of us will be happy about the election results and some of us will not. Thankfully these public venues exist like our parks, schools, festivals and fairs, clubs and organizations that are open to everyone having that particular interest. Because despite the seriousness of our own personal convictions, we must continue to co-exist at work and play.