Brotherhood is something we know well. I have brothers, and we fight one minute and mend each other the next. Blood is truly thicker than water. Brotherhood, like citizenship, conflicts at times yet is capable of amazing unity.

While this is true, each community has its internal differences. We see these differences most pronounced in contested politics. Yes, politics is a rough-and- tumble sport!

And while these differences are intense and divisive, they are ultimately trumped by brotherhood and citizenship. In our lives and our communities, we are soulful, altruistic, and loyal. WhUnknownen I reflect on our altruism and commitment to each other, I think of the MACC Fund, Midwest Atletes Against Childhood Cancer. (I am a past MACC Fund board member.)

The MACC Fund is an assembly of neighbors, brothers and sisters—businesspeople and doctors—working to eradicate our toughest pediatric cancers. This is one of the many organizations across our nation working to ensure that we refer to childhood cancer in the past tense someday soon. It represents an outpouring of local leaders and citizens stepping up to do the hard work, to make a difference, and improve these children’s lives.

No doubt as we tumble through this election year, we will agree and disagree—and then agree and disagree some more. The experience will be fractious, and it will be contentious. It will seem as if we are terribly divided.

But we are stronger than that. Spirited election campaigns may bend us, but they won’t break us. They can’t—and won’t—break the bonds of brotherhood that unite us in our communities and, yes, our country.

We understand our responsibility through our vote. But voting is just the beginning. When the campaigns and elections are over, local communities and organizations such as the MACC Fund address and attend to their own and regional problems. We citizens, neighbors, and compatriots—brothers and sisters in our democracy—step up again and again.

Altruistic citizens remain the difference in any community, doing God’s work for those in need. Nothing can replace the simple and necessary kindness that blossoms each day in towns across America. It is these unassuming acts of thoughtful kindness that unite us as one people.

We are truly one nation, indivisible (E pluribus unum  “Out of many, one”). The bonds of brotherhood—of peoplehood—are strong. Very strong! God bless our communities and nation!