These words are sometimes referred to as a curse; however, we certainly are living in extraordinary times. The change that occurred this week was a complete shift in the political paradigm. As I was watching Barack Obama give his inaugural speech and saw the millions of smiling, hopeful faces waving flags, I called my mom who has witnessed many more historical moments than I have. She was overcome with emotion and crying in joy about these interesting times. She said that she has not ever seen anything like this.
The change transcends simply a new President and a different party in control. This is a change that is all about hope and a celebration of our country’s political system. It is a tribute to some revolutionary folks who got together a few hundred years ago and formulated a government with the people as holders of the true power. President Obama tapped into this source of power, utilized his gift of eloquence and combined it with a modern network of email, text messages and internet presence to launch a new era of hope.
I am not naive enough to think that Barack Obama has super powers and that magically all problems will disappear. However, if this new paradigm means that we come together rather than split apart and work together to solve problems, I do not think any problem is too big to solve.
For too long, there have been two Americas. One was comprised of the privileged, wealthy and powerful, and the other was made up of the powerless and disenfranchised. The mosaic of faces that I saw at the inauguration—black, brown, white, young and old—waving flags and smiling and crying in joy gives me hope that President Obama can truly lead us to recover that greatness that makes the USA so unique.
The most poignant part of this change was captured by President Obama in his speech when he said:
“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.”
It is fitting that a black man was able to stand proudly and take the oath of office of the most powerful position on earth at the same Mall where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. moved a nation with his “I have a dream…” speech.
In MLK’s timeless words:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
This was a day of change not only for our nation but an inauguration for the world.