Jan 21, 2009

I watched Aretha Franklin singing My Country Tis of Thee and thought how four long years ago, she probably watched the presidential inaugural from home on TV and sang Chain of Fools.

Whether or not one voted for Obama, surely today is a cause for celebration – seeing one long and tragic era finall come to an end?

When George Bush Sr. ran for president, he said he wanted “a kinder, gentler nation”.  He said he would be the “education president” and the “environmental president”.  None of this came about, of course, but I dont think that in earnest any of us really expected it of him. We couldn’t have imagined, however, what his legacy – George W – could have brought to this nation.  Millions of Americans (and non-Americans) will agree, these have been truly horrific years  – for our economy, for our brand, for our spirit and for our soldiers and their families.

I think the changes promised by the Obama administration suggest we may collectively be capable of bringing this vision to fruition, at least to some degree.  There are people of good will all around this country who have been outraged by the greed and injustice earmarking this American created by the Bush administration.  And there are people who have never let go of the 60’s optimism, as well as new generations of youth touting ‘hippie ideals.”

I don’t think, however, that human nature is making a paradign shift.  Rather, I think our behaviour is changing in order to render more beneficial results rather than simply to “do the right thing”.  Regardless of the motivation, I like to think that Americans are finally realizing that we’re connected to each other and that our survival is mutually linked with that of total strangers, on a local and global level.  We are learning (or accepting) what the good lord meant when we spoke of loving our neighbors as ourselves, following by defining who our neighbor is – everybody.

Today, people are primarily concerned with survival and are realizing that changes, compromise and perhaps even sacrifices will be required to meet that end.  I believe we are ready to do the work.

Today is the day we are offered an opportunity to guide the evolution of our culture and see it blossom into a way of life – and a community that we can believe in and be proud of.

There’s a long way to go, but we’ve come a long way baby!  Let freedom ring loud!

JMI <!– /

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