Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Now What?

I was moved by so much during the inauguration of a man for whom I did not vote but for whom I wish the very best. In a world where race is not supposed to matter anymore, it clearly matters a lot, in ways that I - and probably a lot of people of my race - cannot truly understand. I noticed just how many public prayers surround this event - Rick Warren's prayer and Rev. Lowry's prayer and the prayer service on Wednesday. I was struck by how awestruck the mainstream media is by President Obama, and I wonder how long this fawning will continue.

So now what? "We the people" have done our part by voting, by participating in the process. So much of what happens now is in the hands of elected leaders that it may be tempting to say that there is nothing more for us "people" to do.

I believe we can model good will. To my conservative friends, let me say that the campaign is over. Stop the emails. Quit the sass. There is no good to come from that now. To my liberal friends, let me say that the parties are over. The Bushes have gone home. The time for reveling at the expense of fellow Americans is past. Find the things we can celebrate together.

I believe we can model service. This is not a public service announcement asking you to paint a house or serve in a soup line, but it is my recognition that the public rhetoric now is that America is a place of help and hope. That cannot come from Washington. If the rhetoric is to become belief, it must start with us, with our relationships with each other and with our actions towards one another.

I believe we can model prayer. In November, I railed in a blog against those who prayed for a certain outcome for the election, whichever side they took. Now I stand with those who pray for our leaders, for wisdom and direction and health. That is Biblical.

I believe we can model cooperation. As long as we snipe at one another, those who represent us will have no reason not to do the same.

I am sure this sounds very preachy or Pollyanna or both. Sorry.

If this inauguration of this president really represents something, then it is up to us to grab it and model it and make it happen.

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