And just like that, my faith in America is restored. Like one large collective breath, our heavy burdens fall and we breathe a sigh of weary relief. Cynicism replaced by inspiration. Amen.
Had someone asked me a few years ago (heck, if someone had asked me a month ago) whether I thought Barack Obama would be elected president of the United States, I would have only been able to say, "Gosh, I hope so, I really hope so." My fear was that to even dream of something so satisfying and inspiring would bring nothing but disappointment. I did not think this country was able to set aside petty differences and prejudices to rise to this momentous occasion.
But on the evening of November 4th, as my husband and children and I sat in hopeful anticipation, jumping up and down with joy, crying tears of gratitude and sitting in silent reverence, our small world changed wholly and completely. And when I awoke early on November 5th and headed to work as I always do on Wednesdays, the world looked just that much more vibrant, that much more hopeful, the people just that much more whole.
It takes courage to open ourselves up to the prospect of hope, sealed ever so tightly in Pandora's Box. But when we ask ourselves what is most important in life, it always comes down to the intangibles, those things which are ultimately impossible to wrap with words. It comes down to a sense of meaning and inner satisfaction; knowing that no matter what in the end all is (or will be) well in the world and we are here to be a meaningful part of it.
We may not change this world of ours but when we have the opportunity to witness someone who can and does and will, the whole of humanity is buoyed by that presence, that hope, that love. It takes a person like Barack Obama to remind us that life is about more than just movements and rituals. It is about having faith in our collective consciousness to compel us to do good, to show kindness, to cherish hope and to protect innocence.
May these next four years point us the way back to our lost American soul.