Robert Menendez: I think we should be collectively thinking about how we create a greater sense of community. And I mean that both at home from the perspective thinking locally, but also thinking globally. You know from the moment we wake up, by the time we are out of our home headed to work or school, we are indebted to half the world – from the coffee we drink that may have been, you know, grown in Latin America or Africa; to a sponge that we may have used that was created by or captured by a Pacific Islander – we don’t have any synthetic sponge; to the tea that we may have had that may have been produced some place in Asia; to the clothing that we may wear that will have likely been produced in some part of the world; and in so many other ways we are so interdependent. But I think that one of our challenges at home, and thinking both at home and around the world, is a sense of community. It is about more of the “we” and less of the “me”. Because in thinking of the “we”, we will achieve more for the “me”. But you know, I think we need to be thinking about how do we create greater senses of community, and how do we work individually to make that community more . . . that sense of community, a beloved community, more of a reality? And I think that’s something that would serve us well. And whether that’s back at home and wherever we call home; or in the state or the . . . or our country where we live, in the sense of that community; or in a sense within this more global community of which I believe so strongly are so interrelated, it is working to create a sense of community and thinking more about the “we” than just about the “me”.
Recorded on: 9/12/07