I woke up today bursting with energy. I don't think I ever knew how empowered I could feel by an election. Despite the fact that Kansas (to no ones surprise) went to Senator McCain, I feel like my vote meant something. My opinion matters. After eight years (ok only six since before I was 18 I really didn't pay much attention) of feeling like my opinions and concerns were being ignored by Washington, I feel my voice is heard and echoed in others. My excitement bubbles as I realize that others not only in my city, my state and my country celebrate the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president, but that parts of the international world also find excitement and hope in these results. Yet while my joy beams out my fingers and toes, I understand that the the future is not all singing and laughter. Tough times are still ahead. And while I have great hope as to how President Obama (gosh that feels good to write!) will handle our desperate economic situation, our less than wonderful international relations, etc. etc, I know that things will not magically become better for our country or the world. New leadership only means a possibility to change the current path. My greatest hope is that President Obama will not only change our course but with this change will bring about a sense of peace rather than the fear and sadness that so many have experienced. Now I realize that there are many, including some of my own friends and family, who are not thrilled with the election results. My hope for them is in the coming months they can realize that
while Obama may not see eye to eye with them on every issue, he does want to work for the common good of the country. And always remember, while the position of president holds great power it also is very limited. We, as a nation, hold more power. We as individuals united in common goals create change. So what ever it is we are fighting for we must never give up. We must continue to dialogue and work together for find solutions to better ourselves, our society and our world. And yes, I realize that this is easy to say since my candidate won. But hey I've been saying it for six years. I understand and know how it feels to think my opinions and actions do not matter or make a difference. And this election has proved that people can come together to create change.
A friend's facebook statue reads "I have children that won't remember that race was ever a barrier." Obama's election as president is not only exciting because I believe he is going to be a great president who will do great things for this country, but because he is the FIRST black president. I'm constantly reminded how images and symbols create reality. I'm currently reading Sue Monk Kidd's "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter." She talks about how our language and images of God as male shape our perception that God can only be male. Without an image or language of a female God we have no way of perceiving this form. I find this true in other aspects of life. When we only had white, males as president it is hard to imagine a president outside of this image. President Obama changes the image. And thus opens possibilities up for so many new forms of leadership. It's all very very exciting. Yeah for progress!!!!May this change move us forward to better things.