I think my friend Billy said it best when he said that today we were waking up to a brave new world. It does feel like that, doesn’t it? For eight long years I have felt the absence of respect, dignity and hope and the death of the American Dream. We forgot the lessons of 9/11 and the camaraderie and unifying sadness we felt on that day. We have wasted 8 years being feared, hated, and mocked. The last eight years have pitted friend against friend, colleague against colleague and sister against sister. It was a dark and lonely time in America’s history. It seemed all was lost and nothing and no one would be able to restore our faith in America.
Today, I feel a freedom and a sense of peace I have never felt in my adult life. The joy I am experiencing is unimaginable, an unbridled euphoria. I am walking through my day and my feet aren’t touching the ground and no one and nothing can spoil what will undoubtedly go down as one of the happiest days of my life. The tears of joy will not stop flowing and I am absolutely blown away that I could ever feel this strongly about a Presidential election.
My children will always remember President Obama, and will never know the idea that a black man would not be allowed to vote, never mind hold the highest office in the land. My adopted black daughter is going to grow up watching a black First Lady make diplomatic inroads abroad and little black girls make their home in the White House. My son will always be able to remember watching President Obama’s election night speech and casting his own vote for Obama in his school election.
I am not expecting miracles; I am being realistic and cautiously optimistic. I know that the world will not change overnight and there may be a lot of things that he just isn’t able to accomplish. However, there is hope. Hope that things can change. Hope that America can regain trust overseas. Hope that racism is finally going to die a lonely death. Hope that every man, woman and child will have access to healthcare, education and fairness.
I feel badly for those that aren’t able to feel the bliss I am experiencing today. There are those that will waste this moment feeling bitter and angry. To those people I say, life is too short, and this moment too powerful to squander. Lift up your heart and your voice in gleeful celebration of this moment in history, in America and the significance and wonder of it all. This is a brilliant day, as one American Dream has been realized. In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal”. Rest in peace Dr. King, your dream lives on…