Our Common Humanity

“How one couple’s collection beckons us to appreciate our common humanity…” That’s the brief summary of one article in this issue, which takes readers into the home of a Goodfield couple whose 57-year marriage has been a partnership in collecting—and sharing—the riches of our world’s many diverse cultures.

Retired teachers Bill and Lydia Hohulin have accumulated a museum's worth of artifacts, and we’re grateful to them for opening their home to us—just as they have done with countless students over the years. What a remarkable legacy: to have inspired young people in such a vivid and memorable way. And as it turns out, our own managing editor had Mrs. Hohulin as a teacher in junior high… small world, indeed!

“The Hohulins’ thoughtful approach prompts us to stay curious about those who are different from us,” writes Hannah Ramlo. “In a world torn by cultural conflict, their curiosity cabinet urges us to search for similarities.” Against the backdrop of a heated political climate, it’s good to be reminded of the links that bind us together, even as we challenge ourselves to be open to new ideas and receptive to the views of others, however different from our own.

This September, I have the opportunity to travel to Germany with our sister-city group in this 40th-anniversary year of our cities’ relationship. (Check out “A Tale of Sister Cities” in our May/June issue for a look at the unique bond between Peoria and Friedrichshafen.) I enjoy traveling and learning about other countries and cultures, and I’ve always been curious to go with them! Of course, you don’t have to travel overseas to experience something outside of your usual routine. Whether food, music, religion or culture, there are opportunities all around us here in central Illinois.

This year also marks the 200th birthday of Lydia Moss Bradley, who shared her time, talents and resources—in the face of multiple personal tragedies—to build the region that we know today. The variety of organizations and people she touched has left behind a long-lasting legacy—something we can all aspire to. We may not have her wealth, but we can all be generous with what we do have, our own humanity above all.

A kind and generous spirit, respectful of our common bonds and our unique differences… That is the true gift we have received—and an example for all of us. a&s