Today, as I watch the Presidential Inauguration, just as millions around the world are watching, I am moved, and inspired. No more, and no less than millions around the world are inspired, but enough so, for those feelings to change my life, and invigorate me to make passionate commitments in my life, about how to take my part, in changing the future.
Who am I to think I can? I never learned much about politics, and certainly never got involved. I didn’t get an Ivy League education, not even close. My job is not necessarily important to the world, but it is certainly one of the most important things to me, and my life. I’m a mother of 2 extraordinary children (yet ordinary in the view of the world), I’m the daughter of an ordinary family, and I have my own strengths and weaknesses that I must wrestle with every day.
Who am I to offer commentary on this new President’s inauguration, and message to the world? What makes me think that anyone should listen? Nothing, nothing at all. But, just in case, there is someone to whom my words might make a difference, then, I have made my own contribution to changing the world. And if writing these words creates a more defined clarity about my own responsibilities to this world, to peace, and to brotherhood of mankind, then, I again, have made a difference.
As President Obama stood among millions in Washington D.C., as well as around the world, of course the greatest message that was conveyed simply by his presence, was hope. Hope for change, hope for renewed economic development, hope for world peace, and hope for unity. As I watch the Bush’s and the Obama’s exit the Inauguration, and bid adieu to the Bush’s at the helicopter, I am struck most by the theme of unity, in today’s ceremonies. And it is this theme that I want most to elaborate on, and support, as the days turn less into ceremony and more into a process of getting down to business.
First and foremost, I was struck by the unity of every person in attendance there today, and throughout the world wide web. A common theme exists, yet, among citizens who undoubtedly have very different upbringings, opinions, financial resources, political platforms, and lifestyles. People of every race, religion, and sexual orientation stood together today, in hope. The most incredible feeling at that moment was that of unity.
But, what must we do to make that hope a reality? Is it enough that we stand together on one day to express our hope for – well, hope? No, no way. Not enough. A good start – but not enough. When President Obama was elected, and I realized that the generation of my older teenage child were largely responsible for voting him in – I encouraged them and admonished them – to remember that their vote was not enough. If change was what they wanted, then they had to evoke change within themselves, and find what their role would or could be, in evoking that change in the world. It is not enough to sit back, and watch as President Obama single-handedly takes office and leads the country – we must take action, each one of us. In our average communities, in our average jobs, in our average families, we are each charged with a responsibility to make change.
As I officiate my students’ Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, I am moved by their expression of hope for World Peace, for people of different races, religions, and sexual orientations to live peacefully together.And this is exactly where I think all of has have a responsibility to change.We must remember that we exist together in this world, and take heed from the lesson that was demonstrated at today’s inauguration.I can see our political administration, who 6 months to 1 year ago today fought passionately against each other’s ideals, come together, as one administration.They came in support of our President – each one of our,s in America.We come together as citizens, not united by our faith or the color of our skin, but by our hopes for peace and freedom.
It is my children’s responsibility, it is my responsibility, and it is every single person’s responsibility on the face of this earth to make the commitment to being united to the mission of peace and freedom. 60 years ago, no single person ever would have dreamed of an African American in the White House. It seems a dream that was as obscure then, as World Peace is today. But, is it so difficult to dream? Is it so difficult to accept an individual because of his differences? Is it so difficult to think that our way may not be exactly the right way? And that by all thinking and working together, by involving each other and holding each other accountable for peace and freedom, that it might actually be achieved?
Or are we all too busy trying to prove that our way is the right way? That we or “I” am superior to someone else, simply because they are different? What if we all adopted a philosophy of being equal – under the eyes of God. “Hear O Israel, The Lord is Our God, The Lord is One”, Pastor Rick Warren repeated today. How true that was. Now, if we could only make the pledge to actually live our lives that way – and remember that God created our universe, created mankind, and put us all here to live peacefully together – in freedom. He has brought many races and religions through incredibly difficult victories in our fights for freedom since the beginning of time. Isn’t that a message of hope for us all to learn to live peacefully together?
It isn’t that obscure of a dream. I almost feel like we are right on the verge of an amazing eclipse in our world philosophy. I feel that in my lifetime, it’s possible, and that I can take steps to make that happen. President Obama didn’t reach the White House on the coattails of welfare, nor did he assign anyone else the tasks of reaching his goals – he took them on himself. Because of his commitment to surpassing the impossible boundaries he envisioned for himself, because he took his own action and made life happen for himself, I know that I too can break the impossible boundaries I may see for myself, and my country, and my world.
We have duties to ourselves, each other, our countries, and the world. We must work together to achieve unity. We must accept our neighbors for being different, and respect different opinions. We must embrace those who think differently from ourselves, and remember that it might just lie within that person, or that idea, to break through from the norms, and move to the unexpected. We must unite with distant families from whom we are estranged, and with whom we have allowed our differences to fall between. We must remember we are all family, we are all created in God’s image, and we are all human beings first, seeking freedom, and World Peace. I make a commitment today to live life through the lens of breaking impossible boundaries, and I urge every friend, colleague, and citizen out there today, that on this day, they make the same commitment to themselves, their communities, and the world.
Good Luck, America, we have reached a brand new day, and I’m confident we have witnessed a moment of profound change in our world. May it only be so…