Whenever I have defining moments in life that are unpredictable and unconventional in my world of logic I have to find a means of understanding it. Today is such a day. If you asked me four years ago if I thought that a black man could be the next president of the United States I would have probably asked you if you thought we could ever impeach Bush. But, ironically one of those events came true yesterday. I am humbled and frightened as to the future of President Obama and his family. I am humbled that America chose the best man to lead us, but frightened by what Mr.Obama will find in the unseen files of the Bush administration. I know that the transparency that even he wishes for will be a struggle as he begins this historical journey of repair and nurture.
I realize that this is a new age for America, an unflattering reflection of our choices as a nation, and unwavering dignity on Obama’s part to steer us back into the right direction. His unquivering outlook on America’s prosperity is both touching and chilling from the perspective of a man whose grandmother lived through the great depression and father tackled racism daily. His message of the journey of hope is one that only he can deliver, striking back at those who are unwilling to intercept the old way of politics.
I often imagine that I am a dwarf, standing on the shoulder of giants. Looking at how they see the world, how they pause to reexamine a notion before compromising, how they look for clues from the past. Yesterday, I realized that Obama had become a giant in his own right, perhaps having stood up on Lincoln’s and Dr.King’s shoulders as he reevaluated the world all these years. His obsession with history is what guides him to not make the same mistakes, to open doors for enemies and friends alike. This is one giant that I am looking forward to watching and learning from.
Obama’s speech today reaffirmed my belief in the prospect of peace and equality for all. His ability to transcend race and religion in the name of unity gives me the strength to be his shepherd in training. I imagine that I too will run into walls of injustice and unethical regulations but in the process I will think of those shoulders that reigned before mine. Those feet that scotched racism, and scrapped sexism. Those eyes that raided against unequal policies.
It is befitting that Obama reigns on this day, two days after the celebration of another giant, Martin Luther King Jr., whose philosophy of “nonviolence or nonexistence” is still a dominant factor in how we ought to proceed with our world neighbors. Much like Dr.King, Obama asks us to act on our ethical beliefs. To question our government, and demand that our honor as a nation be upheld and our voices be heard.
This is the new age that I look forward to. A new reason to support our representatives in Washington, and our troops in distant lands. It is a sense of gratitude that I have in knowing that he will not stir the waters to prove that we are a powerful nation, but to uphold a sense of freedom.
In the words of our new president:
“America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”
Let the new age begin.