Today, I won't be on the Mall in D.C. with the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people who've descended to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. I can't say I wouldn't have loved to have been present for it, but I'm happy to report that my place of business will be giving all of us working saps a paid break and a big projection screen on which to watch the ceremony. And free apple pie! (Seriously, I love my company.)
No matter where you are today--on the Mall, at home, at work, across the globe--you can't help but feel the weighty and emotional sense of history-in-the-making. There are so many reasons for it: the first non-white president in US history, the first African American, the first person of mixed race. It's also about a country and a world exhausted by 8 years of disastrous American leadership, desperate for real, positive change, for a new direction--a better, more sustainable economy, comprehensive healthcare, improved education for all, real care for the environment...and the list goes on.
In short, this Obama fellow has a pretty heavy burden to carry on his shoulders. The hopes and dreams of millions swirl around his head, and as much as I'm gunning for his to be the positively transformative administration that everyone is claiming it could be, I'm also of the opinion that this change transcends one single man. We're all involved, we're all responsible, we're all important. Obama and his team cannot make things better all on their own. And they're going to mess things up from time to time. We need to call them out when they make mistakes, and we need to support them when they do right. Most importantly, we all need to stand up and do our part to make the wished for (and needed) improvements to our world.
So enjoy this momentous day, this joyous occassion when people from all walks of life, from across the world come together to celebrate this accomplishment. Then keep that sense of hope and happiness in your heart, and get to work!
(P.S. The Badger Herald included a very nice piece about yours truly and that there book of mine in their back-to-school issue today. Check it out here.)