Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New President

A new president takes his oath today ... and I think we owe it to the country to pledge a few things, too. May we demand all that is honorable and investigate that which is questionable. May we expect a little more than is attainable and contribute all that is possible. May we allow for mistakes without making excuses. May we indulge in optimism without losing our critical thought. May we recognize that hope and change are most powerful when used as verbs ... and that each one of us must participate in our own government. May we cling fast to the strengths of our relatively young democracy: reason and lawfulness and fairness and freedom. And humor. And tenacity. May we insist upon accountability. (Ourselves, included.) May we rediscover humility. May we embrace diversity. May we offer the best of our dreams and wishes at a time when the zeitgeist shimmers with possibility.

And may we offer our warmest greetings to the new guy in charge.

Welcome, Mister President. Your country is waiting.

34 comments:

Jim said...

Well said, I cant wait, just a few more hours.

Mister Earl said...

I'm staying home today to watch the events. We're in for some tough times, but let's hope Obama can unite us and bring us forward.

Laurie - are you going to run for city counsel first, or school board?

Mister Earl said...

Sorry, that should be city council.

Sharon said...

Beautifuly said Laurie!

Judy Williams said...

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Nelson Mandela

It is a hopeful day and like you said, hope as a verb shows action and not just thought. May this be an administration of service, fairness and honesty.

Welcome aboard, Mr. President. The nation waits and prays for your strength and honor.

Jilly said...

A great day when we welcome this amazing new President. Not just America is waiting - the world is waiting and I know this intelligent, gentle, calm, charismatic man is going to do good things.

Halcyon said...

You certainly won't see any houses like this here in Jackson, MS!!!

I wish I could at least listen to NPR or something while at work. But we can't even stream radio with all the "security" stuff we have here.

Today is a very historic day and I'm proud once again to say that I'm American.

Virginia said...

Amen Sistah Laurie! You are correct. We all bear the responsibility and the WORLD"S LEADERS need to walk the walk with him. I say you need to run for Mayor!
V

Hilda said...

Beautiful!

I wish all good blessings on him. He has a very tough job ahead of him and will need a lot of help from good people.

dbdubya said...

Our inauguration is always a special historic day where a peaceful transition of power occurs. In 2000, when the results of the election were delayed for over a month, I went to Eastern Europe for two weeks fully expecting to come home to a president-elect. When I returned, we still didn't know who would be president. My brother put it well. He said that no matter what happened, we would have a president on January 20. There would be no second election, no violence, no overthrow or coup. In the end, there would be a democratically elected president and only in America can that happen.

Whatever your political beliefs, today is a day to celebrate our republic.

ben wideman said...

Bravo, great post!

-K- said...

That is so nice. And so timely. The swearing in is just a few minutes away. One of the most historic things I've seen in my lifetime.

Judy Williams said...

I just watched 3 hours of pre-inaugural coverage and the swearing in itself. I was moved to tears many times. Blessings to Mr. Obama and his family and to all of us Americans, the legacy to his regime of optimism.

Yakpate said...

Laurie... the beauty of your post is that you already live your life according to the hopes you shared with us today. May we all rise to this level of generous understanding, laced with your passion for the truth.

San Diego Farmgirl said...

What Laurie said!!!

Petrea said...

Well said, Laurie. Optimism without losing our critical thought. Accountability - ourselves included. These are wise words, and brave. Let's demand a lot from our leaders, and from ourselves.

Time to roll up our sleeves, folks. He may be good, he may even be great. But he's only a man and he can't do it alone.

pasadenapio said...

Today is a great day to be an American!

altadenahiker said...

You know what I really liked about the speech, other than the brevity and realism? You can tell he wasn't up all week with a bunch of speechwriters trying to come up with the perfect quotable line that would carry on into history. I think he is putting his brain & energy toward more important matters.

Mister Earl said...

Actually, he was up all week trying to come up with the perfect speech that would make you think he wasn't up all week. ;-)

And right now he is making me very nervous by walking down the street.

Ken Mac said...

the obama frat house?

Mister Earl said...

Ken Mac - Exactly. Perfect.

altadenahiker said...

And where is the wise guys frat house? And, uh, what're wearing?

Cafe Observer said...

The celebrations, smiles, partying, music, congrats, happiness, etc of today will soon die down.

Tomorrow will be a Monday. A day to get to work. And, we will remember why it is called work.

Much Good luck & prayer for you, Mr Prez #44, you'll need it.

Li Barreto said...

I hope so =D I'm Aline from Brazil and I wait that Obama serves of example for all the leaders. Please, forgive my English.

Bye bye

Judy Williams said...

I loved it when he did the "hang loose" hand sign to his hometown school marching band from Hawaii. Obama smiled more in one day than Bush smiled in 8 years.

Laurie said...

Hi everyone,

Welcome Li Barreto!

Judy, I love the Mandella quote.

Mister Earl, hee hee, no political runs for me.

Don't you all feel like there is a shift in the collective thinking -- that, like that time after 9/11, the country is just aching for leadership to allow us to participate in changing things for the better? I would love to see Obama harnass that energy and put it to good use.

Thanks for sharing a part of the day with me, everyone. Til tomorrow...

Sally said...

Fabulous words. A huge day.....we watched much of it on TV here in Sydney, but not the actual inauguration - it was on at 3:30am! One Sydney-sider celebrates Barack Obama’s inauguration by tinkling the ivories

Kim said...

Hear, hear! He's just a guy, doing his best, capable of inspiring the people of the land to do the work of restoring their democracy. He's not going to have a micro plan for each of us or even each region of the country. We've got to be pro-active about our own citizenship and activism, roll up our sleeves and find in each of our own communities that space and role each of us can fill to get the many jobs done that need to be done. There are political, community, faith-based, charitable, health, educational and civic organizations with established programs that are just waiting for the tide of personal resolve we are all feeling to flood them with personpower. It's just a matter of choosing where to target our personal energy and time. And like the Nike slogan, it's best we all "do it now."

When the days were darkest for me, right after our family had marched with tens of thousands in huge public protests in San Francisco about the government's proposed invasion of Iraq (along with similar protests around the globe), and the government chose to go despite the huge public outcry, I took to heart what I heard author Annie LaMotte say she was doing to cope: "I do one small thing everyday for peace." So each day for years, I tried to do just that. Write a letter to the editor or email a friend with information, phone a congress person's office, help out an organization somewhere, donate money, pray, have a conversation with someone, just one small thing a day. . .sometimes large things, too. It kept my hope and resolve alive that our democracy was not dead, despite the will of the people not being listened to at the time. My husband had immediately seen the possibility of war looming when 9/11 happened, and anticipating a possible draft, trained three weeks later to volunteer with the AFSC's GI Rights Hotline. They offered information and referral to legal resources to military people like the single mom of two in the National Guard who called him one night because she on a very long deployment to Iraq when her mother died and the military would only give her a brief furlough to find other care for her kids before she had go back to war. She was distraught with no one to turn to. And there were so many hard situations like that. He volunteered there every week for three and and half years until we moved here. We all can do something according to our convictions and talents and time. I can't wait to see the results of the ways we invest ourselves for the common good. It is going to be awesome if we all follow through!
-Kim
Seattle Daily Photo

Meead S. said...

Very nice!

Petrea said...

Kim, here's what I found online last night: http://rosecityobamaworks.ning.com/

People rolling up their sleeves. Perhaps doing what needs to be done before waiting to be asked. I'll bet these are popping up all over.

Laurie said...

Hi again,

Kim, thank you! I'm encouraged to think that maybe the tide is turning to an era of volunteerism and civic involvement. So many of us have felt so helpless for so long now.

Little things each day for peace. I try to live that way, too. Thank you for inspiring me even more.

Babooshka said...

Laurie, not just your country, the eyes of the world. High hopes for this guy/ I believe in him.

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Anonymous said...

Too bad SoPas is no longer lily white Republican! Who do you think paid for the wonderful reputation and buildings that SoPas has and are trying to uphold?