“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.”
– Barack Obama,
Jan 20, 2009When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon; as a young boy, I daydreamed about walking on the moon. However, I never dreamt in my wildest dream that I would see a colored person taking oath as the President of the United States. “Who among us, especially those of my generation, ever dared believe that an American of African heritage would ascend to the highest office in the land in our lifetime?” said Black Enterprise founder Earl G. Graves Sr.
In a way, Dr. King’s daring dream has come true – not only for African Americans but for all Americans. The election of Obama conveyed one message very clearly- the world has changed more dramatically than we are forced to believe. Americans are more progressive than we are allowed to believe. Man by nature has a decent soul and innovative mind. Dysfunctional world around us makes us dysfunctional – generally speaking.
Obama proved that common people are less stereotyped than the conventional wisdom forces us to believe. The so-called conventional wisdom always wants to keep the world in status quo. The media which represents the conventional wisdoms provides a certain stereotypical understanding of the world which encourages certain ways of thinking in a society. The world has changed very drastically in last few decades. Since education has been accessible to a larger segment (the middle class in particular) of society- people came to realize the members of the ruling elite are not as smart as they are portrayed.
With an education, a common person may become an uncommon human being, and he/she becomes capable of demystifying the tricks of the ruling elite. Obama demystified the stereotyped idea – he proved his competence and people voted for him. At first, Obama outsmarted the Clinton machine. Once he outsmarted the Clinton machine, outsmarting the McCain machine was only a matter of time. Sir Jeremy Greenstock, a former British Ambassador to the United Nations said it more succinctly, “It’s not just a rebooting. I think a lot of us feel America needs new software and Barack Obama looks like he can provide new software.” Nelson Mandela wrote in a letter sent to Obama before the inauguration saying, “Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done.”
At present, America is passing a difficult time, but it can also be a time of optimism. We can depict our current time in the words of Charles Dickens demonstrating the contradiction and confusion of the mid 19th century Europe: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair ..”
America is blessed with a President who represents hope and inspiration. Above all he represents competence and professionalism. He has called for public policies based on facts and empirical studies. Yes to ideals, not ideologue; yes to competence, not complacence.
Progress anywhere leads to progress everywhere. This is an age of creativity and unorthodox wisdom – a new world is unfolding in front of us everyday and every hour. Only constant theme is ‘Change’. We are living in a world, where anyone can become anything of course if you work for it. You are the producer, director and the heroine of your life. Yes you can do it – Obama did it. Obama has done his job, now you need to do yours.