In the movie Definitely Maybe, Ryan Reynold’s character expresses the great feeling you get when you find the perfect track to go with the day. He proceeds to play Everyday People by Sly & The Family Stone, which resonates perfectly with my first day at work with Chicago’s Department of Public Health. I spent the weekend learning more about the Roosevelt Institute and how to turn a value I hold into the change I want to see in the world through policy. It is only the start of many more learning sessions to come, which are in addition to the lessons I will learn everyday at the DPH.
Everyday People relates so perfectly to my day because I learned that I am just as much a member of this community as the person sitting next to me. I want to fit in, feel safe, be loved, breathe easy, enjoy myself, and live adventurously. Each of these things are possible because there are people working behind the scenes to ensure my entire experience is safe and memorable. Everyone in this city is different, but they do have one thing in common: they’re Chicagoans. From the diligent mayor, to the posh business woman, to the homeless man on the street. And another thing, they’re all people, with feelings and desires, hopes and dreams, memories and futures. On my first day at work I learned how hard the department is working to make Chicago a better place to live. It is astounding how far they have come and how far they have to go, but the passion is there and the drive is present. I may not be able to change Chicago, you may not be able to change Chicago, but together we can make a difference; together we can make a change.
So remember, “I am no better and neither are you. We are the same, whatever we do. You love me, you hate me, you know me and then you can’t figure out the bag I’m in. I am everyday people.”