Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The 44th US President

Today's inaugration of Barack Obama can't escape the reality that he is the first African American president of the United States. That moment is history and needs to be savoured and reflected upon. I hope that is not the end.

I am excited about this day for more than the colour of the President's skin.

When Obama said, that America wouldn't sacrifice its ideals for safety's sake; that ideals would not be set aside to allow for expediency, I heard that the US Military will no longer have permission to commit torture (or more accurately, have the definition of torture restored).

When he said, that America will be a friend to other nations, I heard that the era of carte-blanche labeling of some as evil was over.

When he said that change had come, I heard that for some, the change they were seeking was becoming real; and I heard that for others a change in attitude would be needed for them to be part of this new world.

"All [people] are created equal": I am hopeful that this is truly believed and that the fear-based ideal that "some are more equal than others" has been thrust back to 1984.

"There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female", rich or poor, religious or secular, straight or gay, etc., etc., etc., and etc.

I know that there will be the resisters of change. But their voice is waning and even many of them are being changed. Alleluia.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Reflective Opportunity

Wow, this blogging is hard. I have been hard pressed to think of something worthy to say. And I've been busy with other things. Updating my facebook status most days has been the limit of my blogging.

Yesterday the top news story was the US Airways A320 that made an emergency landing in New York's Hudson River after flying through a flock of birds just after take off. The pilot is hailed a hero, for finding the solution he did which resulted in saving all aboard.

This story hit me in a way that it wouldn't a year ago. My spouse now works for an airline and as such, our family can get pretty good deals on standby tickets. With taking the family to Anaheim in just over three weeks and with my sabbatical coming up in a few months, I will be flying more than a half a dozen times before the middle of the year.

I have found myself asking: how would I react? Would I be calm on the outside? Would I reach for the cellphone and say my goodbyes; would I grab the video camera and record the inside story (I'd end up on Larry King for sure). Would I be a help to others, or would I be focused only on me?

I don't know. But I'm glad for the reflective opportunity.

(PS: I did laugh at the fact that W's final farewell was all but ignored. If only the world could say that for the last eight years!)