Friday, January 23, 2009

A New Nation

I sat motionless, eyes transfixed on the television, sitting among my peers and co-workers as the 44th president of our country was sworn into office. What captivated me was not only the words he was speaking, but that he said them with such conviction, and without once looking at his notes, and without the use of a teleprompter. I know there are those of you in community who can speak from the heart with the same passion and effortlessness that he did on that day, and I admire you all for that. What you give to others when you can do this, just as I felt coming from this man, was a true sense of understanding for all people regardless of background, faith, beliefs, age, sex... the list goes on.

As he spoke, Obama touched on just about every subject he could, sometimes sublty, other times with more fiery seriousness and he essentially let us know that he was going to honor his words. That he didn't just do what most politicians do and say what we wanted to hear to get into office. He gave me a sense that he was going to fight the good fight, and that he knew what odds he was up against. It felt to me like we were seeing Olysseus coming home from his Odyssey and after everything he had to fight through to get to Ithaca, that he was standing before us a humbled and grateful hero.

In that moment at the pdium, and speaking to the faces gathered before him and to the people listening around the world, he knew that there were the those in places of great decision-making power that are happy with the way things are even when they know that they are not right and should be changed. And he was going after them next. At that moment, forgive the reference, but I also pictured that scene in Rocky where he dances with great joy after successfully climbing all those steps of the Philadelphia Library, arms straight up in the air in achievement, and a knowledge that he wasn't done yet.

He spoke of the economic woes and his intentions to change things for the better. He spoke of the educational system and how it has been failing us, and he spoke of the trust "we the people" have not had in our government for a very long time. When decisions are made behind closed doors it is a dangerous thing. It's like putting all your money in a bank, not getting a receipt and having a teller say, "trust me, it's there." There aren't many people who can blindly trust in situations like that, so it was refreshing to hear the newest leader of our country tackle these issues and concerns head-on only moments after being sworn in. I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders a little bit. That burden that has been there for the last several years. The weight of putting on the happy face and keeping all these issues that keep me awake at night to myself so that my daughter can grow up in a positive environment.

We create the container for ourselves and for each generation that follows, and not just around the fires we build and tend for our gatherings. Not just in our communications with each other, but with everything we do with our daily lives. Watching the inauguration and seeing every face of every person there, most of them as I was, with tears brimming in their eyes, with something we had not felt from a person in the Oval Office in a long while - hope and faith. Of all the things he spoke of, the part that stood out the most for me and rang the truest, was this:

"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."

Our country has made great strides indeed, and as a community we have a love for each other that is like no other. We welcome each other with open arms even if we have never met before. We share in each other's stories, and grow with each other. We look forward to seeing each other and "pay it forward" by taking those yummy good feelings from our gatherings back into our every day lives. I do believe our tribe, as near and as far as we reach has been changing the world just by being who we are. Isn't it refreshing to have a president who seems to support the same ideals with live by? After seeing what he has done so far, just in his first few days of office, I am so looking forward to seeing how the attitude and the economic state of our country begins shifting as well. And as that happens I am so looking forward to seeing what our tribe can do to make it even better!

Love and Light,

No comments: