A colleague sent me a link to a speech that President Clinton recently made at Harvard and I can’t get the speech out of my mind.
I know that not everyone likes Clinton and that some people felt he betrayed their trust while he was in office.
Because I would never want my fetish for National Park Rangers to interfere with my professional life I was willing to allow for the separation of his sex life and his job.
Though I TOTALLY get that he was in a position of power over Monica, she was an intern, feminism, feminism, feminism. I get it.
I also think Monica probably enjoyed herself.
Back in the 1990’s somewhere, K and I sleezed an invitation to Hank Aaron’s 75th birthday party.
There were over 1,000 guests including all the living baseball hall of fame players as well as an endless stream of famous people one of whom was President Clinton.
The Temptations were the house band for the evening.
The hotel ballroom was so packed with people that at one point when I wanted to greet a man I knew, I had to reach across many bodies to shake his hand.
When I extricated myself, K said,
“Do you realize who you just pressed your entire body up against?”
“You just gave Al Sharpton the full body press, Jessica.”
[Al, the girls are no longer what they once were! Sigh.]
I stood up to get a better look at President Clinton when he entered the room.
I remember, during the primaries, thinking Clinton seemed like a total yokel on TV and I was surprised when he won.
In the ballroom, as I waited for him to enter I thought,
“Let me have a look at the guy. Would I… you know… Monica with him?”
In person, Clinton is a presence. He is tall and handsome, his eyes sparkle and he has a charming smile.
I had to conclude that yes, I would TOTALLY get my Monica on with the guy.
Bow chicka George Wa-wa-washington!
[Judge me. Whatever. I don’t care because I am just speaking my truth here, people!]
All hot cigar action aside, I listened to the speech that Clinton made at Harvard and I was really impressed by it.
I think anyone would be – even if Clinton isn’t a guy you would, you know, Monica.
What he said was far more important than who said it.
In the speech, Clinton talked about how focused we are on the things that separate us, the things that make us different.
We do this at the macro level with race, class, gender, politics and religion.
We do this in smaller ways too – identifying our differences in parenting styles, musical tastes, fashion sense, etc.
He went on to discuss genetic findings from DNA studies revealing that all human beings are 99.9% genetically identical.
This means that the intensity of our focus on our differences is time spent obsessing about one tenth of one percent of ourselves.
He suggested the importance of shifting our focus.
What are our commonalities? What unites us? What makes us the same?
How can I find my connection to you?
He talked about how much it amused him to understand that he is 99.9% the same as Rush Limbaugh and the profound humility he felt in thinking that he could be 99.9% the same as Nelson Mandela.
I was tagged again for the 8 weird things about me meme this week. You know, what are 8 things that set me apart, that make me different...
I consider myself 'on the meme wagon' after my raging binge meme -- what with all that careening down the hallways of the internet tagging people left and right.
(I think I passed out in the end, though I can’t be totally sure that I didn’t sleep with my Technorati favorites.)
After listening to the Clinton speech, I prefer to write down eight things that make me the same as anyone else.
1. I suffer
2. I grieve
3. I hope
4. I love
5. I laugh
6. I celebrate
7. I yearn
8. I dream
[And of course... I chop down trees and eat my lunch, I go to the lavatory!]
I SEE you.
I am because we are.
The full audio of the speech (about 30 minutes) is available online If you want to listen to it. To do so, click here and then move to about the 1 hour and 35 minute mark where Clinton is introduced.