Thursday, November 6, 2008

History: no longer just read, but lived

Yesterday (I say yesterday, as I've not been to bed yet and it is still "Wednesday" to me even though the post will be dated "Thursday") was truely historic. Hubs-to-be and I got up early and waited in line to cast our votes that would determine the direction next four years our country would be headed in.

I was so very nervous about the outcome of the election all through work last night. I had up in the background most of the night. Some people in my life (hubs-to-be, my mother, a co worker and friend or two) kept mentioning that Obama's victory was almost a sure deal, but I couldn't help but remember the insane number of people (adults, students and children) with "Jackets for McCain" stickers at the last few football games (we have season tickets to our alma mater). I couldn't shake the man who verbally attacked me and insisted that a loss for McCain would yield a second Civil War. Every electoral vote made me anxious.

I cannot begin to do justice for the feelings that overwhelmed me after hearing (reading) that Obama was called the 44th President-Elect. Relief would be one of the first. Followed closely by hope. Most importantly though, I realized that I was actually experiencing something great, something beyond myself, something monumental. History. Best of all, I knew that I had done my part, early in the morning on very little sleep, in the band/choir room of a high school to contribute to that history.

I watched Mr. Obama's speech last night in awe. After seeing that McCain had already spoke and a blog post from a friend who mentioned staying up to see Obama's speech I quickly started streaming CNN live on the computer so I wouldn't miss a thing. I was amazed at the sheer number of peple waiting in Chicago, well after 11pm Eastern, in the cold to see him speak. I was amazed to see them all singing along to the songs blasted over the loud speakers, dancing, waving flags and cheering. I was shocked to see Oprah in the thick of it (or so it seemed) and not in a cozy warm indoor place that she probably could have been in if she had wanted.

When he did start to speak though, I found myself somewhere else entirely. He spoke of hope and change. He pointed out proudly that the results of the day proved, so decidedly that democracy is still alive and well within our country. He spoke of how things are not where they should be, that people are unemployed, that the economy is a shambles, that we don't have peace amongst ourselves never mind peace elsewhere in the world. But he didn't not leave us there, pointing out what's wrong and how lost we are. He reminded us that as a country, as a people, Amercians have risen above the worst of times and rallied together to come out stronger than before. That what we faced now was not something that would defeat us.

Most importanly he pointed out that in order to survive the trials ahead of us we would need to unite, not just as Democrats but as Democrats and Republicans and remove the barrier between the parties. He congratulated the Dems on the victory but warned them not to get haughty for this was not entirely their win, it was a win for the whole nation.

As embarrassing as it might have been I sat in my cube and cried at the end of his speech, moved to a point where I thought my heart would burst.

Yes our country is in disarry. Yes we are cynical, jaded, frustrated, downtrodden and just about given up. And what's worse, is that this is no longer a time to be complacent, for us to give in and let the government pull us out of the this mess. We, as individuals, need to be motivated to make a difference. To get ourselves in a better place, to get our country in a better place. The man our country elected to be the next President is capable of inspiring people to do just that.

For the first time since I was young, I feel patriotic again. I know my patriotism didn't die as a result of the Bush administration but rather it died over time as I watched politics become a game of who's better, who's morally right and no longer who wants to change things, to make a difference, to improve our way of life. In a wave of relief, I've found that it is not just me, but other friends of mine, feel united with other Americans on the grounds that we are American. It is the tie that binds.

I am so very eager to see where this new found spirit in our leader, our country and our world will take us. There is so much work to be done, but I think we are ready. I knew all along we could handle it, that we could overcome it, but it is wonderous to have a leader who will cheer us on along the way.

I know not everyone agrees with my points, with my beliefs and with the results of the election. It's not a win for deomcrats though, it's a win for democracy. And even more than that, this is a time where we must take matters into our own hands and fix the country. Even if you don't agree with everything he believes in take a moment to let the results inpsire you to take your life, your own personal economy, your own actions and beliefs into your own hands and make a difference.


bobbie said...

Ditto, and AMEN!!! ('cept I started crying as soon as CNN called it for him, and didn't stop till long after the end of his speech!

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Enterprise Project Management