“Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us.” - Sen. John McCain (1936-2018)
I note from these recent days of remembrance and reflection in the USA, in a time when division seems to be growing and steamrolling unification and cohesion, that we are reminded in our work of the ideals and values promoted by the life and work of the late John McCain, as expressed in the quote above. I take insight and renewed energy from his inspiration to my commitment to developing and sustaining our OpenTox community. I hope you can share that positive force in your work and lives and that we can also share it together.
As he showed in his style of work and leadership, it is invigorating to have worthwhile causes to work hard for, no matter how many setbacks and challenges you are faced with. Such work can give our lives renewed meaning and indeed real, true and shared happiness both in life and death. Recovering from the darkness of death, loss and lost journeys into darkness can provide us, with renewed insight and courage, if we are fortunate enough to find them, a platform for renewal. We can keep the values of John McCain in mind as we work on such causes that transcend individual business or political goals or one industry, country or region:
“Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone.”
“We’re not always right. We’re impetuous and impatient and rush into things without knowing what we’re really doing. We argue over little differences endlessly and exaggerate them into lasting breaches. We can be selfish, and quick sometimes to shift the blame for our mistakes to others. But our country ‘tis of thee.’ What great good we’ve done in the world, so much more good than harm. We served ourselves, of course, but we helped make others free, safe and prosperous because we weren’t threatened by other people’s liberty and success. We need each other. We need friends in the world, and they need us. The bell tolls for us, my friends, Humanity counts on us, and we ought to take measured pride in that. We have not been an island. We were ‘involved in mankind.’ ”
I hope in our work on supporting the development of more intelligent and safer solutions, we can be inspired to commit to the collaboration, community and diligence of work required for real success in the grand challenges that face us, that transcend any company, industry or nation-state, and stretch across the globe to where I reach you today and back again. You are not alone.