Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day to Celebrate Change

Inauguration Day - January 20, 2008.

Regardless of your political interests, this is truly a day to remember. I shouldn't even try to add to the millions of words that will be written about the meaning of President Barack Obama coming into office, though just writing those words gives me some pause to contemplate.

I'm thankful that I have been free to watch today's events live, though I think many of you who are currently employed have probably kept an eye on things over the internet. As I have watched Obama's speech and the events after, with huge throngs of people cheering and waving, there are two feelings that come to the forefront for me. The first is a strong feeling of connection, though it be virtual, from sharing in one of the rare events that we will all remember for a lifetime. It reminds me that "connecting" is, to a large degree, what blogging and the other forms of social networking are all about. At least that is my hope... that my blogs are more than just a narcissistic exercise. And, I am happy to say, that has proven to true. I have "met" many people through blogging that I may not ever meet in person. As Thomas Friedman has written, The World is Flat. How great it is to be able to use technology to enhance our social connections without regards to borders!

The second feeling, that is inescapable if you watch the events of today, is the massive outpouring of positive energy, emotions and optimism that are being demonstrated all around the world. I can't think of another event like this. Perhaps only the moment when Neil Armstrong stepped on the surface of the moon comes close in my memory, but even that pales in comparison. There was certainly awe as we watched one of Earth's citizens bound about on another world, and there are similarities in the relief it provided from the tragedies and conflicts of the prior year... 1968. But optimism, and yes.. hope... those are really powerful emotions that are rarely seen on this scale.

I hope that we can set aside our typically short attention spans and build on that optimism in the years ahead.


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