One of the beauties of the August 21st solar eclipse - besides the stunning corona, the strange darkening, or the “banana” appearance of the partial eclipse, is the way it brought millions of people together.

One of the beauties of the August 21st solar eclipse - besides the stunning corona, the strange darkening, or the “banana” appearance of the partial eclipse, is the way it brought millions of people together.

The eclipse is a “Great Equalizer.”

Few causes or events create quite that outcome. I was not so fortunate to travel to see totality, but I was delighted to join probably a hundred or more other eclipse enthusiasts at the Solar Eclipse Party, hosted by Penn State Extension-Pike County 4-H, down at Airport Park, Matamoras.

These were not all necessarily professional or even amateur astronomers who call this their hobby. Most surely, these were mainly ordinary folks like you and I, who were interested enough to see the eclipse. They could have- I could have- stayed home, or taken a coffee break at work, and stepped outside to witness the Sun being partly covered by the Moon (assuming I had a safe method ready to do so).

Instead, we came together. (My excuse of course was to cover it for the newspaper!!!)
No one asked or likely even thought much about, what our politics were, or even religions, socio-economic class, ethnicity or even if we like pepperoni on our pizza. I bet there were Trump supporters and Trump haters right next to each other and we didn’t even realize it!
There was an evident mix of age, from child to senior citizen, of color and national origin.
All of us appeared overjoyed, in awe at the spectacle over our heads. We had heard so much about it, and we had to experience it.

(Understandably, not everyone could make it. Some viewed it from right where they were; others got to see it on TV or the computer, or didn’t care to or have a chance to take notice- that’s OK.)

The point is, there is a lot in this life and on this planet we all share, to bring us together- and off our planet to find something in common, even for a brief time. We all breath the same air and are warmed by the same Sun. No one has found a way to tax either, or stop it- thankfully!

Can we not just get along, and realize what we share is so much more important than the differences we sometimes emphasize?