RICHMOND, Va. -- A serious question:
For months, if not years, we have heard in great detail about what divides us.
We just finished an election believed to be among the most divisive in U.S. history.
Protests, anger, even violence erupted as we identified based on sex, age, income, race, religion, ideologies, orientation, place of birth.
But what unites us? What do we have in common? What can we stand for together?
I asked this on social media, and while wandering the streets of Richmond, talking to a mix of political and social figures, students, musicians and working folks.
An immigrant from El Salvador shaping a new concrete curb told me the desire to take care of our families is what unites us.
"Empathy" unites us, a VCU student told me. "You can't be united without understanding each other."
Music, sports and food unites us, I was told. You go to a concert or ball field or restaurant, it seems our differences fade.
The desire "to live life to the fullest," said historic real estate maven Jennie Dotts as she joined the multicultural throng at the downtown YMCA.
Among other answers:
"Kindness, compassion and forgiveness."
My old friend Dean Owen said "heart, and everything that goes with it."
"Watching a sunset."
"Music, bonfires, beer and bacon."
Snow panic and a love of pizza are common traits.
But, by far, the most common answers were hardship, tragedy or the nation being attacked.
This is interesting from Chris Buerkley: "Greed unites some of us. Caring unites some of us. But fear is the thing that unites all of us."
Yes, kindness and hope unites us, along with life, liberty and the pursuit of those things, I was told.
Me, I think we are still united by kids, pets, moms, blue jeans and most kinds of pies.
Yes, I still believe our flag unites us, whether you stand on it, burn it or stand up and salute it. It's big enough for all of us.
And, definitely, this land unites us, for we all live here, together.
Why not act like it?