Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can

I sat for two hours on I-275 in Kentucky this morning due to a fatal accident on the bridge into Indiana. At around 9:30 people started to get out of their cars to smoke, stretch and talk. The people in the cars and trucks next to me hopped out and we congregated in the median discussing when the bridge would be reopened. Not surprisingly the conversation soon shifted to the election.

The group was clearly divided about the election but for the first time in 10 months I finally heard civil discussion from real people, not left or right wing nutcases. They expressed both fears and hopes, not only for the next four years, but for the future of our country. It was clear (by their bumper stickers) that they had all voted differently but managed to have a meaningful conversation about the state of affairs in our beloved America. I said that it was of the utmost importance that we throw down our party flags and pick up the one flag we all share in common. They nodded; we went to our cars and shortly after traffic began moving.

There is a dangerous storm bearing down on our great land and the skies look ominous, but this is no time for fear. This is not a time for division, it is a time to stand together and show the rest of the world that we are united under one flag. We are all family and we must fight together as one. Now is not the time for us to point fingers or place blame, it is the time to move forward…together.

United we stand / Divided we fall

The thing we so desperately need to remember is that it is not one man who is going to bring us change. Barack Obama is not going to change this country. He will not fix our economy and he will not end our wars. He will not repair race relations and he will not improve our image in the world. He will not change any single one of those things.

We will.

We must show this world we mean business. We must set the right example. We must cooperate and we must listen. Obama is merely and agent of change, much the same as King and Kennedy. Both were great men, but both were only the catalyst. They saw that the people were hungry for something new and they listened to the heart of their nation. They let the people guide them and speak through them, thus enabling and inspiring the change the people cried out for.

They were the agents but we are the change.

So I say that now is not the time to cower in fear, now is the time to remember our great history and stand tall. Now is the time for the American dream to be reborn for all people, the people who have always deserved it but have always been denied. Now it the time to heal the rift and to work together as one, for if we do not, we will surely perish.

So when I heard that speech last night and I saw those crowds I felt something new. Each time I heard the words “yes we can,” I got the chills. And by the end of that speech I had tears in my eyes. I listened to and I believe in the promise which has been made to me. I believe that this is the beginning of something new. I believe that the United States of America will once again be a shining beacon on the hill, a role model and a pillar of justice in this world. I drank the Kool Aid and it tastes pretty damn sweet. I believe that this is our time, we are America and if there is any nation on this earth who will answer the call, it is us.

Yes. We. Can.

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes we can.

From the Obama victory speech in Grant Park, Chicago.

No comments: