The real tragedy of abject poverty and terrible healthcare and life being, basically, a roll of the dice, is that it breaks the connection between effort and reward. And life becomes, apparently arbitrary and brutal. You take any nation where the per capita income is less than a dollar a day, you will find that intelligence and ability, aspiration, they’re all evenly distributed across the society. But organization, investment, and opportunity, are not. We have to know where we can make a difference and then concentrate our efforts there. Governments alone can’t do this, from inequality to equal opportunity, from instability to shared responsibility, from unsustainability to integrated communities, where we live in harmony with nature and each other. So we’re there to provide organization, investment, opportunity, to restore, if you will, the connection between people’s efforts and actions and positive consequences. You can’t possibly do that kind of work unless you do it with other people. Unless they guide you. I believe our mission in this new century is clear, for good or ill, we live in an interdependent world. We can’t escape each other, therefore we have to spend our lives trying to build a global community and an American community of shared responsibilities, shared values, shared benefits. What should our shared values be? Everybody counts, everybody deserves a chance, everybody’s got a responsibility to fulfill, we all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more. So I tell you we can continue building our bridge to tomorrow. We have to now find a way to triumph together. Seems to me that’s what this interdependent
world demands of us. A relentless quest for new communities of equal opportunity shared responsibility and genuine belonging. Everyone can give something. There’s so much to be done, whether it’s down
the street, or around the world. And it’s never too late or too early to start. So I encourage you to make your own commitment, to make a positive difference today, and decide what your gift to the world and the future will be.