Tuesday, January 20, 2009
President Obama's Inaugural Address
"With hope and virtue", he quoted George Washington. "With hope and virtue," President Obama calls on us to honor and seek our higher selves to try to do better. Listening now to Rachel Maddow, waiting for MSNBC to go to the Balls, I'm thinking about the nature of President Obama's campaign as well as some of his controversial choices along the way.
Mr. Obama is all about finding our similarities and building bridges. His focus has never been on our differences, but on all the wonderful ways we can connect with one another to create a better nation. He asks us to contribute our selves, our actions, to a greater good - a call to service our nation. Along the way, he embraces people who are Liberal and Conservative; he calls on women and men; Gay and Straight; White, Black, Brown, and everything in between; people of all Religious beliefs (or not). He embraces, and even when he disagrees he does it with respect for other ideas.
This day has been a little surreal for me - I feel such joy and yes, pride again to be an American citizen. Mr. Obama, his administration, Congress, and all of us have a hard row to hoe ahead of us, yet I feel hope and virtue because I believe we can find our similarities.
And this inclusive stance, for me, includes being able to listen to Rick Warren's invocation today - I don't agree with him on the issue of Gay Marriage - but it is his right to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Rather than attack him for his beliefs, I would rather discuss with him the necessity of keeping his religious views away from the legistation of marriage. I would prefer a dialogue rather than an outright dismissal of him and his message. Because as I listened to him, he was all about the absolute beauty of the moment - that this nation has finally elected an African American to the highest office of our nation. He emphasized the beginning of the end of racial division - and I appreciated that sentiment.
Mr. Obama brings together so many different points of view because he believes in the necessity of listening to all ideas. How else can we learn, and get to understand each other if we don't listen and debate, and keep our hearts open? And our minds, open?
Today, I feel hope in a most extraordinary way. Let's embrace the spirit of his message and move forward.