This day, Monday January 19, 2009, as we celebrate the wisdom and work of Martin Luther King Jr., the world awaits the momentous occasion of the inauguration of America’s first black president, Barack Obama. We look forward to this event not simply because he is black but because the world stands on the precipice of great upheaval, economically, politically and socially. President elect Obama (thankfully this will be the last time I must refer to him that way) and his historic election represent in the minds of many Americans a break from the past, from the tired ideas of the 20th century, and hope for the future of not only America but the entire planet.
Perhaps the collective will of humankind is still being heard out there in the vastness of space, where the real decider still awaits our reunion with right thinking and action. Maybe, just maybe, we are finally getting it and are beginning to realize the challenges of the new century can be met with a true 21st century consciousness instead of the worn out world view of those who would still tell us that imperial style world domination is not only possible, but necessary.
Obama is clearly a man for whom history has carved out a place. Yet that place must also be populated with caring, loving human beings who will support him as he strives to carry us into a brighter future, who will give their every effort to seeing to it that all men and women of this fragile planet have every opportunity to live productive and successful lives. This must be done with the utmost respect for everyone, not just the wealthy and powerful, not just the intelligent or connected, but every single person existent.
If we cannot move this nation and the world strongly in this direction I fear the new century will be a short one. The challenges we face are grave and daunting. If we simply hand over the responsibility to this one man, however talented, we will never be able to hand over a better world to our progeny. Mankind is driven to improve, to evolve, yet there are obstacles at every turn. Today, as our new President calls us to give of ourselves back to our communities on this day of service let us redouble our personal efforts to make ourselves better, stronger and more compassionate people.
After all, there is no one else but us who can make a difference.