Thursday, January 15, 2009

Amazed and Greateful

A colleague recently shared these words, apparently the conclusion of Barack Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope (which I’ll admit I haven’t yet read). I responded that, issues of race and heritage aside, I am amazed that we elected someone so eloquent. Amazed, and deeply grateful:

At night, the great shrine is lit but often empty. Standing between marble columns, I read the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address. I look out over the Reflecting Pool, imagining the crowd stilled by Dr. King's mighty cadence, and then beyond that, to the floodlit obelisk and shining Capitol dome.

And in that place, I think about America and those who built it. This nation's founders, who somehow rose above petty ambitions and narrow calculations to imagine a nation unfurling across a continent. And those like Lincoln and King, who ultimately laid down their lives in the service of perfecting an imperfect union. And all the faceless, nameless men and women, slaves and soldiers and tailors and butchers, constructing lives for themselves and their children and grandchildren, brick by brick, rail by rail, calloused hand by calloused hand, to fill in the landscape of our collective dreams.

It is that process I wish to be a part of.

My heart is filled with love for this country.

On January 20th we are inaugurating the presidency of a man -- a human man with flaws and failings like us all. I do not expect President Obama to be a messiah or some kind of political wizard or superhero who will make everything okay again. He is a human being, like any of us.

But he appears to be to be a very intelligent man. An eloquent man. A man who understands what oppression and intolerance look like from the inside and who still sees the potential and promise in our nation and our world.
I am amazed, grateful, and filled with hope.
In Gassho,
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