I haven’t had the pleasure of spending the morning with a television set on, watching the inauguration of Obama, but I do have access to the Internet and, in moments of relative quiet, am spending some time surfing the Net, looking at pictures of the event and reading about people’s reaction. And if my boss is reading this, it’s a very, VERY quiet day at work.
It’s touching, inspiring and reinvigorating to see such hope in a country that seems to have been spiraling down exponentially faster in the last couple of years. Whatever personal opinion we might hold about America, it did start as a land where dreams came true, where anyone could become someone and have a shot at achieving the American Dream. And it was very distressing to see this image of the United States shattered again and again, beating down not only the hopes and dreams of Americans, but also those of so many others who had looked at the United States as one place on earth where dreams could still happen.
In my opinion, only good can come out of the Obama presidency. On the one hand, the man is going to do his best to clean out the government, oiling its gears and making it work once again for the people rather than for corporate interest. On the other hand, however bright and amazing he might be, Barack Obama is but a man; as he has repeatedly said, he can’t do it alone. But this is why him calling in a new era of responsibility is pivotal to the betterment of the world; if Obama keeps riding his popularity wave as a way of inspiring people to rise up and serve their communities, this change can happen, and it can be sustained.
Leaks about the inauguration speech have it that Obama will paint a candid portrait of an America that has been hurt by a self-centered, ‘me first’ mentality, a mentality that has contributed to the economic crisis we are going through and will probably sustain it in the next couple of years – unless we do something. Obama will call on individuals, corporations and businesses, to take responsibility for their actions. This is great grassroots opportunities, and hopefully it will be matched with a top-down crack-down. Only 20 more minutes!