Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Promise of Obama

I am not one easily impressed by rhetoric or show, but must admit inauguration day had very inspirational moments.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the mere image of a young African American taking the oath for the highest office of the land communicates volumes! No less touching are pictures of the first family.

For the black community, dragged down by a history of enforced enslavement, exclusion and prejudice, Barak , Michelle and their family embody a hope, inspiration and pride which goes beyond words. Immigrants as well, find in a son of one like them, who has achieved the American dream, a validation of their own aspirations for a better life.

I liked his speech, despite the pundits! It had a good mix of sobering realities and the inspirational, even a sprinkling of Scripture….

“….We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness…”

From this perch, there was nothing not to like in the sounds images of the day! A promise and dream fulfilled, seemingly a vision of what could be in a world where race, class or ideas are no longer instruments or determinants for exclusion in society.

Now comes the reality, how will Barak govern? Will it be from his higher convictions or from the base of his party’s own ideology? Will his be a post partisan, post racial, no politics as usual administration or just more of the same in an attractive photogenic package? Time will surely tell.

For now I plan to pray daily for our new president, for his family for our nation. The words of Rick Warren seem appropriate…

“…Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity…”



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