Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." --Martin Luther King, Jr.

I love that quote because I think our natural inclination when faced with evil is to hate. When we hear about terrible acts, things we don't understand, we hate those who commit those acts. It makes sense, but it's not the solution. I believe in Jesus, who said, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. He said many hard things, and that is one of them. But it's because love alone is a force more powerful than hate. Love heals and cleanses and makes things right. If not our outward circumstances, love mends our souls.

Tomorrow, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of our country. From what I can tell, most people are really excited. They now believe that change is here for our nation, and though I'm not 100 percent sure they all agree what that change will look like, they believe it is within reach.

And the event itself...the actual act of Mr. Obama becoming president is historic. It's historic in a way that speaks to hope of change. It's historic in a way that says just because in some years and some lifetimes things are one way....they won't be that way forever.

But Mr. Obama is taking the presidency in a difficult time for our nation. For the world, really. People are losing their jobs, their homes. Years of disgusting greed is wreaking its havoc on our nation. And let's face it...when we don't feel secure financially, we don't feel secure.

So now is when reality hits. Now is when beautifully spoken words and inspirational speeches will no longer be enough...they must be supported by action. They must be supported by steps that show an understanding of American people. And understanding of world government.

I'm in Barack Obama's corner. I want him to succeed. I am praying that he will be a great leader for our country, that he will govern wisely, that he will listen to counsel, that he will serve everyone in our country and not be afraid to make hard decisions. Because if even a fraction of the hope that has been placed in him by so many people pays off, we will be okay. But the pressure he is under is tremendous and honestly speaking, he is largely untested.

I can't imagine the pressure he feels. The eyes of the entire world are on him as he takes office. I'm hoping for good things for our country, but I'm a little nervous, as I always am, when change comes. How are you feeling?



Anonymous said...

This is a great day to reflect on how far we've come as a nation and to commit to going even farther.

Rhonda Gales said...

You've written a beautiful and inspiring post regarding our country and our next president. We've come a long way, and we have a long way to go. I feel confident that we will reach our destination.

Julie P. said...

I think you summed it up perfectly -- I don't really have anything else to add. My prayers are definitely with him. Expectations are so incredibly high and it doesn't look like the economy is getting better any time soon!

Chaotic Hammer said...

Great post, Amy.

I feel a sense of hope and optimism. I'm not sure most people realize just how damaging all the negative media coverage of the economy, and expectations of gloom and doom have been. Such intense hype and fear-mongering becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to economics. A strong sense of hope and new beginnings are needed at this point in our nation's history, and I think Barack Obama will provide that.

Anonymous said...

Richmond poet and civil rights figure LaVerne Byrd Smith reads a poem she wrote the day Martin Luther King Jr. died:

Anonymous said...

I feel almost exactly the same as you do. I'm very hopeful, but also nervous. Obama has so much potential and I very much hope it's realized - and that people understand mountains cannot be moved in day.

I can't even imagine how nervous I'd be if I were him. The eyes of the world are on him now, and their expectations are extraordinarily high.

S. Krishna said...

I'm very hopeful, but realistic - Obama is taking on a lot of problems. I think some people expect all their problems to just go away once Jan 20 is over - that's completely unrealistic. But I am cautiously optimistic!

Amy said...

I'm glad we're all hopeful! That's the best we can be. I missed the inauguration (that pesky thing called work got in the way)but I read the was lovely.

Bonnie said...

I was glad to see your post. I was surprised not to see many bloggers posting about this. I'm feeling very hopeful and positive, but realistic in knowing that he has taken on a lot of major problems. I believe that we will see great changes.

Amy-You can watch some of the inauguration speeches online. I taped the whole day and watched last night. I have the video of Elizabeth Alexander reading her powerful inaugural poem posted on my blog

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