I just have to say what I feel about this because I am in awe…
There are times when you feel a shift in the story. When History is very much in the Now and at the same time, is very much in the Future. And still it’s true that the Past doesn’t equal the Present doesn’t equal the Future. But there are times when all three are merged and mold a new shape…on so very many levels: culturally, nationally, generationally…shaping what we value, how we enact what we value, how we treat each other and the world. Shaping possibilities, creating opportunities.
I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because of how he looks or because of his age or because of his name. I suspect I’m not alone in this. I suspect many voted for Barack Obama because of his call to action to get beyond divisiveness…and not in any kind of fairy tale way, but in a very measured and reasoned way that speaks to moving beyond the paralysis and helplessness, the obscene pervasiveness of fear, hatred, victimization, pain, hurt, and every other prison that has become nearly institutionalized into our culture. He’s tapped into something we all feel…a realization of the very real difficulties that lay ahead, a recognition that fear and hate and pain exist but an unwillingness to be defined by them. He’s tapped into and validated the genuine ability of the human spirit to rise to the challenge (and respond to a call to action much greater than shopping), a recognition and validation of our inherent ability to be something far greater than *only* fear and victimization personified…to be something far greater than Reality TV.
I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance when I was a kid in school. The part that always stuck with me was the promise we all made to the country – and not to any one party – when we uttered those words. Barack Obama’s election to President is as much a mandate for unity as it is for change…for an end to the ugly hate speech and bloated inaction and bloated bungling that have put the country in a stranglehold because of obsessively self-interested people and parties…a stranglehold that has created a killer vortex with an obsessively myopic, obscenely indulgent “ME ME ME!” person-view, party-view, political-view… that has gone sickeningly beyond beserk and frankly, needs one hell of a massive time out, even a severe grounding.
It seems to me that along with all the many divides that started to be bridged last night, last night was, and is, also a huge mandate for working together. For “…listening to each other even more closely when we disagree” (from Barack Obama’s speech, slightly paraphrased).
“Of the people, by the people, for the people…” And with the people. Here’s where the rubber meets the road.
Oh…Hope has texture. It feels exhilirating, it feels inspiring, it feels serious and challenging but very very possible. It feels very possibly like Junk Food Reality TV has been unplugged. Just possibly.
It feels like very possibly a reclaiming of our country.