"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord." --Obama's Inaugural speech
The sun shines across my laptop as I type, though this Californian isn’t so easily fooled. I’ve discovered that the January sun in DC doesn’t mean t-shirt weather. (Who knew?) At this moment… 9:59 AM, January 21, 2009, it’s 21 degrees in Fairfax, VA but due to the wind chill factor it “feels like” 10! I did my “Freezin’ for a reason” yesterday so I’m grateful not to be out in it today. Come to think of it, this morning I’m feeling grateful for many things.
I’m grateful for a good night’s sleep and as promised, I’m now ready to start writing about my experiences at the Inauguration. To get me in the mood to ruminate, I’ve spent the past hour reading other blogs and looking through online images of Malia and Sasha from yesterday’s events and video of the President and First Lady dancing at an Inaugural ball.
I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve still got tears in my eyes. What’s that about? I look at the Obamas and think: Yes! This family now represents America, to us and to the world. Barack and Michelle Obama… good-hearted people who have worked hard as individuals and as a couple. They obviously love and support each other. They are obviously terrific parents. Their daughters are obviously open-hearted girls — friendly, polite, respectful, full of joy.
The First Family reflects the best of America. We haven’t had that for a long time. And from the many people I’ve talked with over the past 8 years, we have longed for it, prayed for it like people in a drought praying for rain. It feels like it’s been dry and dark and fearful and strange in America for a long time. That’s why I’m extremely grateful that this day has come. That America finally has a leader who reflects our values and can take us in the direction we need to go. The rain has begun and it feels just fine.
Here’s the full text of President Obama’s Inaugural Address. Read or watch the video and tell me what you think.
"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics." --Obama's Inaugural speech
One paragraph that jumped out at me: “Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.”
We all have faced “a difficult task” from time to time. Maybe, right now, in your life you are facing one. Or you know someone who is. What do you tell yourself at those times to keep you moving forward and doing what needs to be done? I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say.
On the flip side, everyone has experienced the pride and satisfaction that comes with “giving our all” and being part of the solution to a problem. Tell me about what you’ve done and how it helped.
More about the Inauguration in my next blog.