Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Good morning, America!

Good morning, world!

I am 52 glorious years old today and celebrating a brand new morning in America. How cool is that?

"This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were." - Barack Obama

Last night, I watched as the votes, includine mine, were tallied and Barack Obama became the next president of the United States. I listened to John McCain, a man I admire and respect even though I don't want him running the country, give a gracious, energizing, and unifying concession speech. And I watched Barack Obama speak to the country - and the world - from his heart, with fire and passion and conviction. I cried and clapped and chanted with all the happy people in Grant Park:

Yes, we can!

We did.

And now we must.

The election was the easy part. Barack Obama is an inspired and inspiring man, but he cannot transform this country alone. It's not his to transform. America is all of us. We have to be the ones who put an end to the poisonous name-calling, the fear-mongoring, the talk-radio inferno that whips up anger and resentment and fear-based reactionary rhetoric that small-minded listeners play in an endless loop until they're enraged over imaginary evils.

Stop listening to that junk! Stop! Turn it off! They are not nice kids and you can't play with them anymore. They're greedy show-biz folks who are willing to rot the country at the root to make a living. Blech! Ack! Phooey! Spit! Yuck!

To fill the silence when the radios are turned off (not that all silence needs to be filled), let's make happy talk. Let's talk about getting along, getting together, and getting things done. Let's talk about how we can all prosper. Let our conversations be about what we can do that really matters. And let's talk to - no, with each other. Bring back real conversation and listening skills. Hear what your neighbor is saying, feeling, doing. Pay attention. Engage.

Finally, I leave you with this from Rabindranath Tagore, the most beautiful prayer I can think of for a post-election morning in America:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action --
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.


So mote it be!

16 comments:

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You are definitely not the only one that cried tears of joy. I was on twitter and it was a mad house. Once again happy birthday!! :D

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  2. Thanks...they're all happy birthdays. Every year I live is another year I didn't fall victim to my own stupidity. Glad to have you here...please come again!

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  4. Anonymous2:14 PM

    The junk must go! Just say no! You're right: America is ours, and we're all responsible for her health and tranformation. ~ Zephyr

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  5. Very well written and I love the Tagore quote! How worldly. Thanks for this insight. And Happy Birthday!

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  6. Hi Linda! I wanted to post my political views in my blog but held back because of uncertainties. I also refrain from posting any political problems my country face. >,<

    Okie...so this is just my excuse to post in your blog where I can let out my thoughts! lol

    I wanted to say I think Obama would win cos his smile lights up the world. And when he spoke about how his mum taught him by making him look at the wonders of nature (morning dew, insects, etc), I knew right away that this man would be a GREAT one!

    Was it a difficult decision for you when you placed your vote Linda?

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  7. P.S. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY Linda!

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  8. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I hope you'll come back here often.

    Allan...Gitanjali is one of the most prized books on my shelf. Tagore resonates powerfully with me. Glad you enjoyed this one.

    Kelly...I'm glad you can let your views out here...come back anytime and say it like you mean it! My decision wasn't difficult; it wasn't quick, either...I took time to learn all I could about the candidates and their ideology. My decision was clear in the end.

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  9. Obama's victory speech was one of the most well-crafted pieces of oration I've ever heard. He did exactly what needed to be done: put the work of fixing this nation back into the lap of the American people. It's easy to blame the government for things like billion dollar bailouts, but how many individuals run up their credit cards to the max and then file bankruptcy, shifting the financial load of failed money management onto the rest of us? It's easy to blame the government for the war in Iraq, but what about the violence at home over things such as sexual discrimination, race, homosexuality, abortion? These are violences we commit at home that are motivated by the same judgment and self-righteousness that radical Islam demonstrates in their attacks.

    America is ours to save and ours to lose. The power is in our hands. We must move from a generation that blames government for our problems to a generation that sees ourselves as the solution and holds government accountable for how they've handled the problems.

    I see Americans proud to be Americans again. I saw a voter turnout that shattered records. I hope we have learned what we never should have forgotten: that our voices mean something and that being American is about rolling up your sleeves and creating the America you want to leave to your children's children.

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  10. Sitara - amen, Aho!, and so mote it be!

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  11. ...a belated Happy Birthday to you!

    Senator McCain's concession speech won him back a measure of the respect I used to have for him eight years ago. Let's hope his supporters listened, and can learn to let go of the hostility that built up during the long campaign.

    And hopefully the Democratic party can focus on the work that needs to be done to restore our country - instead of wasting time on partisan shenanigans!

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  12. Thanks, FireHorse...and agreed, wholeheartedly!

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  13. Thanks for a beautiful, uplifting post and for adding a comment to mine.

    It truly is the start of a new journey, one that will only succeed if we embark on it together, in respect, compassion and forgiveness.

    Blessings

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  14. P.S. Happy Birthday!

    P.P.S. If you'd like to exchange blog links, let me know. I'd love it. (http://newearthchronicles.com)

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  15. Mark David...absolutely! I was going to ask if I could link you here. Please do the same with mine if you feel inclined. http://heartsongshymnal.blogspot.com I'd be honored.

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  16. Such beautiful sentiments, and a wonderful prayer!

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Sing with me...