Thursday, February 07, 2008

Barack Obama - The Embodiment of a Promise

I was born in 1969. To me, and others of my generation, there was a promise made.

This promise came to us via Sesame Street and Free to Be You and Me and Dr. Seuss. It came to us through the writings of Judy Blume and Madeleine L'Engle. It was in our music.

It said that we are all one. And there is something loveable in all of us. And that if we just work together, we can accomplish anything. And that responding with love works. And we might not there yet ... but there's a dream. And we can make it real.

Our hearts have been broken, over the years. Disillusionment -- that's just life. Slowly, like all the generations before us, we became bitter. And cynical. Our first political memory was hearing our parents talk about something called Watergate. We read Alas Babylon in high school and wondered when it would be, that someone pressed The Big Red Button.

We got excited -- so excited -- about Clinton. Only to be mocked, later, as he, too, had feet of clay. We were made fools of.

And there was an election. And it was looking good. We were hopeful. And then the "grownups" stepped in and seemingly said, no, we get to decide.

And things got bad. Really bad. So much fear, misplaced anger ... we wanted out, we wanted to find our way back to Sesame Street, where people are treated with respect, and kindness. Surely, we could all band together and find our way ...

And we sat, in shock, as half the country said, We Prefer Meanness.

Well ... that's how it felt.

And we sat, confused, broken and said, "Really? Really, there's more of them than us?"

"So it was all just a fairytale? Goodness and mercy and love and kindness? It was all just a silly story told to children?"

And someone spoke up. Someone who had also grown up with The Promise. And he said that he didn't see a black America and a white America, he saw America. And he spoke about kindness to others and fairness for all. And dreams. And hope. And all of us working together. All of Us Working Together. And taking that promise and making it really, truly happen.

And to our broken, disillusioned hearts, he found that tiny bit of hope that we had squirreled away.

And he says, Yes. We can.


Anonymous said...


EmJay said...

That is exactly where my heart is right now!! I stood in the cold, rain, snow and hail for over three hours to make that point on Tuesday and did not regret one minute. My heart was further lifted by the thousands that stood with me. They only expected a hundred or so, yet thousands showed up. The diversity was amazing, yet our hearts were the same. We all want to hope again and are willing to do what we can to make that happen.

Anonymous said...

I was born in 69 too and I can't get over the feeling that we were cheated. We have that amazing hope. Hope that could fill generations... unfortunately we are also cynical.

All I can say is I hope you are right because if we are cheated again it will be a dismal day.

ms. kitty said...

Yes, please, I'll have some hope too, thanks very much. Thanks, LE.

Comrade Kevin said...

Cynicism gets so wearying. I think I'll try being hopeful for a change.

Shannon said...

Hope is the new black :)

Love this one.