I am never too proud to give credit where credit is due. It's a given that President Obama has speech writers. But I've heard, with the exception of some minor tweaking, his inaugural speech was very much his own. And, it was a beautiful speech. A beautiful speech delivered with touching eloquence. Today, I am thankful to have a President capable of delivering an eloquent speech.
Today, I am thankful to have a President who clearly loves his family. It is obvious his wife and children adore him. Did you see the way they looked at him? You don't get looks like that if you are failing as a husband and father. (Just to prove my point, this is what Ten Year Old said as the Clintons made their way through the Capitol: "She doesn't like him very much does she? You can just tell by how she looks at him." And this kid doesn't even know their story!)
It is evident that our President expects fathers of each and every race to step up and fulfill their responsibilities. I am thankful he spoke of programs that do not work, and replacing them with ones that do. I appreciate that he spoke of every American's responsibility to work toward improving their own situations. A reminder that we should never rely solely on a government for anything.
Today, I am thankful for the millions of well-behaved visitors who crowded together on the National Mall. It was truly a stunning sight. I was so proud of my country as I watched people of every race, age, religion, and political persuasion gathering together. Peacefully. There were moments when it overwhelmed me. Yes me, the cynical, snarky me.
Today, I am thankful for the humility I witnessed. Not only in our President, but also in our First Lady. I mean this sincerely...I appreciated the looks on their faces as they realized what lies ahead far outweighs their celebrity status. It made me wonder. Maybe they aren't completely comfortable with the media and Hollywood fawning over them? And if they are comfortable with the fawning, it certainly didn't show today. I was relieved.
As President and Mrs.Obama each walked the length of that long Capitol hallway, I saw humility. I needed to see that today. Humanity. Real people with confidence to meet challenges, but not the arrogance of believing they are above the magnitude of this day.
I appreciated President Obama acknowledging the graciousness of the Bush family. At that moment, I thought about the fact that since the "transition" began, President Obama has been mostly complimentary of our former president. I can't help but wonder if the daily security briefings have opened his eyes to the formidable tasks that are ahead. Is it possible that, as he has become privy to new information, President Obama understands things about President Bush he never could have before?
Today, I am thankful for hope. And if President Obama ignites hope within those who had no hope before, I believe that is a blessing. I pray our President remembers all that was spoken today. I pray that in the months to come, his intentions remain honorable. He sounded honorable today, and I pray it wasn't just the eloquent speaker talking. Today I saw a man yearning to help his country. I saw a man filled with humble emotion. I pray he has the courage to remain true to the man we saw today.
I follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If I practice those things I profess to believe, I have only one option. I must give President Obama a chance. A chance free from my judgements. I must remember that his understanding of our Heavenly Father differs from mine; therefore, his intentions regarding most issues do not match mine. His intentions are based on his life experiences. And our experiences are vastly different.
The past few years I have cringed as dissenters hurled insults at our former President. Insults attacking his person, rather than how he did his job. I never understood the need for labels such as evil and stupid. I always believed it was greatly lacking class. So, I won't be one of "those people". I will never agree wholly with President Obama, and my voice of dissent will not be silenced. You will never question where I stand on issues. But, I will conduct my disagreements with respect and dignity. (Ok, with the exception of Nancy Pelosi and just a few others...I have to be realistic here. But I will try. I really will try to refrain from being just plain nasty.)
God Bless America!