Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Dream That Was And Is Obama!

My Photograph 
I remember very clearly the day I first read about Obama and his intention to run for the Presidential Office of the United States of America.  My first thoughts were, “Ok who is this guy? And what the heck makes him think he can win such an influential seat of power? Just who does this guy think he is.” 

Now I will admit here that I am usually known as a champion of the underdog.  Individuals, music groups, actors or just whoever I feel aren’t being given a fair deal.  I admit also, that I’ve enjoyed the sheer delight of watching them silence their critics with their words and actions at that one final crucial opportune moment.

But here I didn’t feel a trace of desire that wanted me to see this guy run as a possible candidate let alone win the Presidency.  Several months later, Obama was in the news once more as a strong contender for the Democratic Party.  By this time I had gotten a little more familiar with who he was and what he stood for.  I have to admit that he was not like any other Presidential candidate that I had ever seen or may ever see again.  He had some interesting ideas and thoughts coupled with charisma, eloquence and an appearance of forthrightness that made you want to stop and listen to what he felt a nation and its people should do and be and that no obstacle, no matter how large, could not be surmounted.  Impressive? Yes he was and still is. 

Though at that point, despite the charismatic persona and confidence he exhibited, I still wasn’t sure whether he could drive past his more formidable opponents in the Presidential race.  I figured that he would be crushed underneath the colossal juggernaut of the Clinton campaign or by his Republican opponent John McCain. 

Fast forward to his electoral win.  I can’t recall a time when a country or the world was so excited to see someone take office.  It truly was a spectacular and unbelievable win for a man, who many would later admit, defied all expectations and dismissed all cynicism in one swift stroke.

So what does all this mean you might ask?

Again fast forward to today, Obama is being spoken about in a very different way. He is described as someone who hasn’t done much to change things, hypocritical in some manner, conservative and by others, an anti-climax to a great political saga.   

However, if one were to turn off the volume on all the criticism being expounded on Obama and his Presidency and let the echoing chorus of his shortcomings and imminent defeat in the next Presidential elections die away, you’d find that there is something far more valuable that Obama gave not just to America, but to the rest of world. 

And that something was the “Audacity of Hope.” I quote his book title here because it eloquently sums up something that we seem to be missing in our everyday lives. The Audacity to Hope, my friends, is a precious commodity that many of us feel we can’t afford anymore or never could.  Our lives, with all the ensuing chaos, challenges and responsibilities that we have to deal with on a regular basis appear to be too daunting to allow us to believe in hope anymore.  But Hope, is what changed history.  Hope is what built great nations.  Hope is what wrote the great stories that are now the glory of all mankind.  Hope my friends, is what God gave us as a beacon to lift the darkness off from our lives. Take World War II as an example.  It was “hope” that still kept the Allied Forces going even though it seemed completely “hopeless” to go up against the might of the Axis of Evil and defeat it. 

Obama was a person who emerged from the shadows and placed himself at the forefront of the modern world, not by sheer luck, though luck does play a role here, but by holding onto that undeterred spirit and the sheer boldness to actually live and say that “Yes I can make this happen.” 

History books, many years from now will stand testament to this fact that in spite of the turbulent times that existed, while in office, Obama still endured and endeavoured to make a difference in this lifetime and age of ours.  He gave people the opportunity to see an actual proof for themselves; the proof that the impossible can happen.  And when one person can stand up and make a difference or at least begin to, he or she can move the hearts of millions and change the destiny of a nation.  The result was the millions of voters, who normally did not participate in an election, come out and place their ballot in favour of man who promised them the very thing that they wanted so badly – The hope to be able to change things and the hope to win no matter what the odds.   

Some may feel justified in levelling their critical views and may appear to be right.  And it is easy for us to stand in judgement from our middle class pedestals of morality and cast our verdict.  But the job of any head of state is never easy.  There is a lot more going on than what you or I could ever imagine.  We may well seem rational in dismissing certain shortcomings of a person such as Obama and his Presidency, but we would be completely wrong to dismiss the greater good that he brought to the world.

That good is translated to the fact that “Change is possible.”  That we as a people, can change our lives from this very moment onwards.  We can dream without fear.  And above all, we can make those dreams come true.  We must always believe and must never back down. Our hearts and minds need to be strong.  And only then can we truly see what hope, in all its glory, truly brings to us and to the world!  This is the legacy of Barack Obama.  This, I hope, will be what he is best remembered for! Next Take please!

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