My favorite Apple commercial of all time premiered during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympics. It portrays a montage of still images of humans, of various ages, skin colors, and cultures. The late writer and poet Maya Angelou offers a voice-over of select lines from her poem, Human Family (full version available here). Whether you are an Apple fan or not, the message is the point: Maya is and always will be a voice for humanity. At the end, she shares her final thoughts, so simply worded yet needed desperately in a world of 7 billion people, often hotly divided:
This poem and set of images calls to me, as I'm always seeking to find commonalities between people. It is what compelled me to work hard on a "matchmaking" registry of individuals with rare genetic variants while coordinating GenomeConnect at Geisinger Health Systems. It's what helped me connect families with support and information while I worked in a Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic in Indianapolis before that. It's what drove me to create the graphic above, pointing out similarities between those in my chosen profession (genetic counseling) and my chosen hobby-turned-secondary-profession (genetic genealogy).
I updated the graphic recently, as the National Society of Genetic Counselors launched a new website making it easier for the public to learn what genetic counselors do and how we can help.
I hope you'll visit the rest of my website and then check out www.aboutgeneticcounselors.com.
Genetic genealogists are a small group, and genetic counselors even smaller.
But we all aim to be knowledgeable and mighty when it comes to understanding DNA and helping others and ourselves incorporate it into the understanding of our place and our role on this lovely, precious planet.