Monday, January 26, 2009

On Crafting Hope

I did not start off an Obama supporter. I did not start off interested at all. I checked out of American politics a long time ago, after our trip abroad in '01 when every person asked us how we as a country could have ushered in Bush, and I had to explain, I did not. But no one heard my vote. So I checked out. I was not even excited when Kerry ran because I knew the stranglehold was complete and there was no where to go, no place to appeal to the sense of the political system here. I voted that year, but with a heavy heart, seeing the domination Cheney and others had established, how they had derailed democracy in our name, for our so called protection.

I started to dream of living in Canada or Ireland or outer space (well, not really). I started to dream of living away from organized society, even though I knew not how.

And then along the road, I heard a few conversations among friends about this man. I heard about him running against Hillary, a woman I met once and admired a bit. I felt for her, the way it seemed she just could not find footing as they raced to secure the votes needed to stand as a Democrat, whatever that was now. I wanted her at first then read this and checked out again. Because if she was that bad, how could he be better?

Then I started listening a little closer. To speeches and ideas and I actually felt a little scared at first. Who was this man? What did he really want to do? And how could he possibly do it? Was it possible that he was being heard and believed? And could we believe him? But I did start to tune in. And discussions started to occur in my life, not about the election per se, but about personal responsibility and how to live a life fulfilled, even in the climate of dooming economy and unending battles and shrinking resources.

Then these two things started to converge and I started to believe this man could help us reconnect with the idea that this country once promote, the idea of freedom and achievement and accountability. And then I found a new thing to fear. That even if he did make it, that place called Washington DC would take his ideals and grind him down, that it would sequester him away from the people he professed to lead, chain him in with the need to secure, rope him away from we the people.

And today I realize that fear is unfounded. Because he is a much stronger man, of much deeper conviction and clearer vision than I could have ever hoped for to lead. And I now feel lightened and amazed and heart swollen with the hope. Yes, I am usually a bit more cynical of the world around me than I share. But not right now.


After I watched the Inauguration, I found a link on a new-to-me blog that I have fallen for. Please watch if you have a moment. I sat with goose flesh and tears as I realized we have become the change walking beside the man who brought it all. Thank you, President Obama. Thank you very, very much.


jillian said...

My path was similar too. I haven't trusted a politician, ever. I voted for the least evil. I didn't care for Hillary either.

When i first listened to Obama's words, I had some hope. But waited to find contradiction, saying whatever needed to be said to get elected. But instead he was clear, and consistent and intelligent and thoughtful. I sill almost can't believe it.

No person is perfect, and no President will satisfy all the people all of the time, but I also believe he is a great leader. The US hasn't had a true leader as Prez in a shockingly long time.

Nonnahs said...

Yay- I'm glad you feel engaged again! I've always been a politically-minded person, but I've never felt as hopeful as I do now. It isn't going to be easy (there is a LOT of F-ed up things that need to be undone!) but at least we have reason to hope things will finally turn around for the better.

I loved that video!