Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ON THIS DAY


On this day I shuffled into our TV room as the light of morning tried to squeeze its way through the misty murky winter air; clicked on the television and watched Martin Luther King's vision from the mountaintop unfold on the steps of our nation's capitol. Like the dots on the canvas of an impressionist painter my brothers and sisters under the flag of freedom colored the grasses and the concrete of Washington; cheered and chanted and celebrated the swearing in of our new president, Barack Obama. History will tell how well his actions will be able to meet the power of his words, but on this day I join every American and non-American who harbors hope in the potential of our future under his leadership. I stood non-partisan alone in my TV room, in my pajamas, and held my hand against my heart as I sang the national anthem to no one but myself and my God.

President Obama's voice echoed against the granite walls of our national monuments..."We are a young nation, but it is time to put aside childish things." I pray we will have the courage to act responsibly, to see clearly and broadly, and to trust the source of goodness that inspired our Constitution and continues to oversee us today.

While there are notable things which set me apart from others; my gender, my religion, my values and commitments; my race and my social situation...there is more which unites me with every other person who entered the voting booth over two months ago. On this day I hold hands with people I do not know and may not agree with. On this day I am an American; and I pray for the success of our new president and those who serve with him.

10 comments:

  1. He got both of my classes canceled today, so I'd say President Obama is off to a great start!

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  2. if God be for us, who can be against us. God bless the president, God bless the united states.

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  3. Here here... Thanks for being so patriotic! Its inspiring

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  4. I've been disturbed all day by some of the things said today - things like "Let the white man embrace what is right," said in a way that suggested the white man certainly has never yet done that very thing.

    I would have been pleased as punch to vote for a black, yellow, pink, orange or purple man or woman at any time in any place as long as that person impressed me with their character and strength, integrity and plan for a strong future. I don't like being talked to as if I weren't such a person.

    And it also has bothered me that people on the left keep underlining the need for change, the idea that today, finally, character, intelligence and virtue will FINALLY enter the oval office. As though it never had before - and if it never has, as though this president has something none of the other ever have had. And the way this is coming out - it seems like they are saying, "because his is black." Which is a terribly racist way of saying things.

    I don't want an African American president. I want an American one - whatever color or heritage he or she may be. And I don't want to hear stories about his progenitors not being served at restaurants because of their color - as if he has been singularly wounded - because MY progenitors were treated just as badly - because they were Irish. People are willing to treat anybody badly if they are bad people.

    I know I am not answering with sympathetic glow. My own glow is in answer to the simple miracle of peaceful and civilized transfer of power - and of the rejoicing of a crowd that does not seem to need to shoot guns into the air to satisfy their feelings.

    I am cynical now, at my age, after all I have seen. I believe few politicians, some because I know for a fact they will say anything to you that will get from you what they want, and turn around and tailor their language for the next guy, even if they contradict themselves entirely - and in the end, never mean to act on any of the words.

    I also know that they may mean what they say, but have no idea how difficult it will be to enact principles and plans - that words and philosophies are all well and good, but life and reality take a heavy toll on good intentions.

    I was not charmed today, except by the gorgeous inter-working of Izzak Pearlman (sp) and Yo Yo Ma (sp) who moved me to tears. Their music was real. It was absolutely real - and it was a demonstration of their real musicianship, their real dedication and discipline and their real ability to weave their work together into one gorgeous and magical whole.

    This is a great country, as far as we, each of us, behave in the way of greatness. Our leaders will be heavily flawed because they are little humans and the world and the job are too big for them. I have hope that we will blunder on - but I do not see much hope in the left's ideas, many of which got us where we are. But then, the right's ideas haven't done much better.

    I hope we suffer a little bit here, and finally wake up to the fact that nobody has a right to a toilet or a TV or an income or a nice car. Not even to life. That all of these things have to be paid for, cared for, preserved and used for good.

    And I'm sorry I spilled all of this here. I have felt it all day, and now, here it is. And I don't mean to diminish your feeling. I just can't generate that happy hopefulness for myself.

    And I don't like being called a white person anymore than anyone likes being singled out for black.

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  5. I have to clarify - "if they are bad people" meaning that the people who are treating people badly are bad people. Sheesh. I can't even write straight.

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  6. nice post.
    I think the prayer was meant to be taken a bit more light-heartedly than that. "Right" rhymes with "white." Mellow with yellow. Brown with around. Red with ahead.
    I'm not saying it was a great choice of words, but I don't think it is reflective of a dangerous sentiment held by this new administration, or the majority of people in this country.
    Discrimination was not just practiced by some bad people in this country, it was the law. And the racial historical implications of this new president are not unimportant.
    I have only known one politican personally. My dad. Maybe the most honest man in the world. I swear. And I blame him for my willingness to consider these politicans innocent until proven guilty.
    thanks for the post mom.

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  7. Sorry that was actually me.
    ashley c= john c.

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  8. I'm still prayin' for our new president. (I prayed for the old one, too.)

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  9. We must pray - either way.... he is the President now, no matter who voted or didn't.... pray for him to have enlightenment, inspiration and guidance - pray for understanding and compassion and to be brave... he will need all of these things - and the more support he has, now that he is President - will be what continues to make America the great country that it is. I am proud to be an American. I am glad that for now... I am allowed to pray - I will pray for the President & Congress & Senate and all the way down - we need to. It is our duty as Americans - no matter our skin color or ethnic background.... if not for diversity - we wouldn't have the country we have... immigrants and natives together - we all came from one or the other... so.. I will continue to weep (proudly) during the National Anthem, and applaud the soldiers I meet in the airport... and continue to reprimand my kids and their friends (& some strangers)when they don't remove their hats indoors and when the flag is presented....

    I'm not an eloquent writer - but I am passionate - and that passion fuels my prayers in behalf of those that "lead" our country.

    Thank you to both Cori and "K" for the posts - healthy minds and opinions are as important as prayers for our leaders.

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