Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We are who we have been waiting for....

Indulge me in another posting about the Democratic race for President and let me revel for a few moments in Connecticut’s successful turnout for Barack Obama. I was one of those on the ground Connecticut volunteers. Never having participated in political grassroots organizing I was overwhelmed by my district group’s sense of purpose and quick camaraderie. I also learned that this campaign thrives on neophytes like myself. We were handed a mighty task and I was dumbfounded by the amount of trust staffers had in our own meager skills to see that a job was done. Knowing that every small contribution we made was a crucial part of a much greater whole gave us a sense of belonging and inspired us to want to do more.

It isn’t until now, after the fact, with our primary over, as each of us returns to neglected work responsibilities, overflowing laundry baskets, orphaned kids and lonely spouses that we can begin to really reflect on our success.

Barack Obama said something last night that struck deeply. He said:
“We are who we have been waiting for. We are the change we seek.”

Although I have been chanting his mantra, “Yes We Can” and “I’ve been Fired Up and Ready to Go” for quite a while now, it wasn’t until I heard those words last night that my soul was touched. His speeches inspire me, his oracle is incredible. But those words encapsulate this experience for me. Living in my homogeneous upper middle class suburb, my life secludes me, on a personal level from people of different races and socio-economic backgrounds. But for the past month we have stood together - working side by side for a common goal. Never have I felt so compelled to do so. My life is richer thanks to this experience and now I understand the power that we have if we join together and believe that we can change our country’s course.

We are being asked to act at a time in history that may never come again. Barack Obama is teaching us that first and foremost we must believe in ourselves. From that faith we must take responsibility for our neighbors, acknowledge the inequities in this country, trust in dialogue, even with adversaries, and work side by side to fix all that is broken - no matter how many obstacles we encounter or roadblocks that get in the way. As Americans we can do this - I saw it happen in our tiny district in our very small state against the greatest of odds...... “We are the change we seek".

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