I started to address this in my comment section, but then I got carried away and figured I would put it out here instead. My blog pal Bush Babe, from the land Down Under, said she is a self-confessed cynic and is afraid Obama will not live up to the hype and the huge weight placed on his shoulders. I understand what she's saying, but I see things in a different light.
I'm a long time political junkie, so I follow our politics, and the politics of our nearest neighbour, very closely. As a Canadian, I can’t help but be affected by what happens south of our border, both literally and emotionally. However, I am, if not a cynic exactly, then certainly a sceptic when it comes to politicians themselves, so I get that.
Having worked up-close and personal with a lot of them, I know that many, if not most politicians, are in it for the wrong reasons - power, money, connections, ego - but every once in a while comes a man or woman who is there to make a difference and you just know it, you see it, you feel it in your gut. They are driven by honesty and conviction and an unswerving belief that they are there to serve the citizens who elected them. And that's what they do.
Sometimes, like a good coach or teacher, a little bit of what motivates him will in turn feed that hunger in you, a hunger some may not even be aware was there. When we are lucky enough to have a man like Obama in a position of power, he can change not only a nation, but an entire world. I believe that. I also believe he's a humble man, an honest man, as well as a man of vision. He knows the task ahead of him. He’s throwing a lot of the responsibility back where it belongs – right back in our laps. We need to clean up this mess together. He’ll do his part, if we do ours. That seems fair to me. And that's a powerful thing.
Is it hype, which to me means exaggerated expectations? I don't think so. I think people are giddy with joy right now, this is true. The American people have been thirsty for this kind of change for a long time, but I think they recognize he is merely one man, a man who is offering a cool drink of water before he expects us all to grab a shovel and build a community well together. Will he stumble sometimes? Most definitely. But Obama has a chance to continue what Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. started. I just hope he’s protected long enough to do what I know he can do.
And what he can do is inspire all of us to do better - for ourselves and for each other.
What do you think? Am I falling for the evangelical fervor that has marked this campaign? Or do you believe as I do, in the power of one. That one man, like Terry Fox, like Gandhi, like Martin Luther King Jr., can change the world by changing the consciousness of each and every one of us?