In the United States of America, it is our fortunate birthright to vote for a Presidential candidate in whom we believe. Although I've always been a registered Republican, and every single person I love and care about is a Republican, I did not vote for McCain. Not casting my vote for someone who was so strongly supported by those in my life made me feel all sorts of things - not the least of which was blessed.
There was a time and there are today places in this world where I would not have had the choice. Isn't it beautiful that all I had to do was walk in a building, step behind a small curtain, and vote my heart? Isn't it absolutely the most beautiful thing?
So today, I want to tell you what this inauguration means to me. Of course I know it means all sorts of things to all sorts of people and so I would ask if you are so inclined, leave a link in the comments to a post about what it means to you - regardless of your political beliefs or party affiliation. So long as hate speech does not have a part in your thoughts, I'd be excited to read what you have to say.
Good or bad.
Throughout the course of this historic campaign and in fact all the campaigns I’ve known in my lifetime, the word “change” has been thrown around to the point that its meaning was diminished for me. Somewhere along the way I lost all hope in that word and to a large degree, in my country’s leadership.
On 9/11, I watched our world fall apart and like a scared child clamoring for her father, I snuggled up close to my government and trusted it knew what to do to keep the bad guys from my door. I believed my government unconditionally and it felt good and right to do so.
But as time went on I began to realize my trust may have been misplaced. Although I didn’t want to consider the possibility that perhaps my government didn’t care about me as much as I cared about it, that reality began to sink in.
When the waters rose in Louisiana, like so many ordinary people across the country, I began immediate action. Even before my government took care of those who were suffering in a way that still puts knots in my stomach, I organized a supplies drive for the citizens there.
“Good job, Brownie,” knocked the wind out of me. My hope was gone. I was lost. We were lost.
If I could act quickly - if my fellow Americans could act quickly - if people from around the world could act quickly and cared enough to get up and MOVE - why then couldn't my government? Why? Why?
I was skeptical when first I “met” Mr. Obama. He seemed too good to be true. While there was a time I might have taken in everything he said as fact, my skepticism had been born of lies and heart break. He said “change” and I just couldn’t believe, no matter how much I wanted to.
I watched. I learned. I read. I researched. I would not be imprudent this time. I would not be sold a bill of goods.
Over time, I began to believe change was possible. I began to trust. And more importantly than these, I began to hope.
In fact I'd have to say that today I feel as though I’m bursting at the seams with a hope so big, it surprises me sometimes. I see our future President and his family and I feel good in a way I find hard to explain. I’m proud of him, as odd as that may sound.
I’m proud of us.
For the world, this inauguration will be historic as the first African American takes over the Presidency. As for me, it will be a very personal moment in history. I’ll thank God, I’ll cry and I’ll hope - because for the first time in many years, I believe change is coming. I believe it’s here.
Copyright © Sherri Bailey
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