Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hopeful frustration

Pictures might say a thousand words, but I'm ready for some words! Obama has decided to run - I thank the universe, the goddesses, the gods, the mothers and sisters and aunties and the men who have helped him, shaped him, fought for him, lifted him. For his courage may offer us a shred of hope. He is taking on extraordinary risk to offer America (North and South) the opportunity to recoup some of the incredible losses we've incurred over the past decade. Our reputation for being generous, wise, compassionate and creative have all been unceremoniously cremated. I can't say as I've lived through a great presidency, but I think the last decent one was Jimmy Carter! Goodness, that is a loooong time for a suburban girl to wait. I'm used to a significantly more immediate gratification from the world, my selfish self says that we can figure out a way to share our collective wealth without reducing further our collective poverty, nor by indulging in someone else's money. We don't need oil money to produce the same amount of food, or transport some of our excess to Zimbabwe, Ethopia, Haiti, or Chechnya. We don't need to kill our soldiers to offer a hand in peace. We don't need to separate more families, lose more children, maime and twist more 'peace officers' in the name of Democracy. Democracy itself may not, in fact, be a useful tool for some places. There may, in fact, be places in the world where OUR way doesn't work at all. Where we need to tolerate, respect and acknowledge, not understand. Where social norms create opposing morals, where customs bang into our standards of individual freedom and political might, we need to find shelter and comfort in being allowing. As I do every day watching my children bang into my own limits and expectations, it is likely that we have banged into others, and that others shall bang into us. And until we eliminate discrimination against pregnant women, until the human body - male and female - offers not beauty but beautiful function, until we eliminate infant mutilation from our own society, I honestly feel we have NOTHING to criticise in others. So long as we condone the use of force, whether at home or abroad, in the taming of societies monsters, we have shriveled to the size of our worst enemy - hate. Someday we may get it right, and hopefully Obama will help lead us down that road. Like MLK Jr., he will not say anything NEW, but he will say things people don't want to hear, will push and rebel against, and things that are true.

Link to Obama's running speach:


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