Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!
Last night, at 10 pm central time, on the dot, CNN announced the next presidential elect. "Zips Lounge" a student lounge in the student union building at Loyola University Chicago, erupted with cheers from nearly every student watching the big screen. A change was not just a possibility; it became a reality.
Along with fellow students, I embraced the moment. Politics are exciting, dream-developing, hope-inducing. Politicians often give people reasons to believe in something. My hope, after the dust settles and Barack Obama is officially sworn is as the 44th President of the United States of America, that his message is made manifest. I think it's crucial for all of us living in the U.S., putting stake in the people here, to be critical of Obama. We supported Barack because we saw in him a person who has the potential to fuel this country forward. Now we need to make sure that we help the cause and we fight for the cause. We have to make sure that we practice what we preach, in a sense---at least try as best as we can. Likewise, we need to hold our politicans accountable to the same standards. If we look up to the office of the president, then we need to expect that person to carry out the role to the best of his or her ability.
A few hours before finding out Obama had been elected, I was sitting at a computer in the library on campus. As I glanced to my left, staring off into space waiting for the slow computer to boot (those library computers know how to take their time and test students' patience), two posters caught my eye. I had seen them before, but tonight of all nights they seemed especially fitting. On the left hung a poster of Malcom X delivering a speech, looking full of passion and fire. On the right of Malcom X hung a poster of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivering a speech in a serious, but soothing face. These two men, of course, are remembered as two of the most prominent African-American leaders to ever have lived. But the content of their character is why we really honor and remember them. Both of these men not only preached change but delivered change. Both of these people were willing to stand up for what they believed, stand up for the oppressed, and bring about a more perfect, more civil, more just society. They were history-in-the-making in their actions and in their living.
Wherever we stand on the political spectrum, it would be hard not to grasp the history-in-the-making of a Barack Obama as the next president. Less than 150 years ago, there were African-Americans in the United States that suffered through the most oppressive institution of slavery. Now, we are part of a country who has just elected a black man to be the next president of the United States. Virginia, a state that fought for the Confederacy during the civil war, chose to elect Barack Obama. Chris Matthews, a journalist for MSNBC, couldn't help but show his enthusiasm last night for a country that seems to finally be able to look past the color of a person's skin. He was amazed and overjoyed to think of how far his country has come in his lifetime.
My prayer for Barack Obama is that he strives to challenge this country and to serve this country and especially the greater world community with a Spirit that comes from the Highest Good we can imagine---that he may be a voice of change in this world, a positive voice of change. We need to follow the hope of Dr. Martin Luther King and really judge Obama on the content of his character. In time, we will see what the policies of President Barack Obama will bring our country.
He has inherited one of the most difficult jobs in this world---the most difficult persona, arguably, currently in existence. Since the United States is a world power, the leader of this country is a world power figure. May the power Obama inherits be aimed at helping those with less, allowing all of our brothers and sisters to prosper. May Obama keep his vision, but understand more fully what it actually means to govern at a day-to-day level. However you voted, it is important to try and put yourself behind Obama.
It is going to take a united country to support the next president. I hope that, divided as we sometimes are, this nation will come together to give Barack a chance. In doing so, we might proclaim to the world community we are a country united to strive for goodness. May we be humble. May all of us be a group of people who want to love and serve, seeking, at times, nothing more than a smile or a handshake in return.
I am excited as a young person. I am excited as a citizen of the United States. I am excited as a person who believes in God, in Love. I am excited as a person who desperately wants to believe in the Goodness of Humankind.
Realistically, Barack Obama can't solve all of this nation's problems. Realistically, Barack Obama is going to do things, say things I won't agree with. I hope I---along with others---have the courage to stand up for beliefs. And I hope I have the resolve to accept the fact that the leader of the United States is a human being with human faults. It is in this realization that I think we can start to finally build on what Barack has promised. We can't do it all by ourselves. But, joining in community, a community of believers, we can do great things.
My prayer is for Barack Obama today and for his wife and two daughters. My prayer is also for John McCain today. Both of them helped to make this country excited about politics and excited about change. The next four years will be a change. May it be a change for the better---a moving forward and a greater realization that in our common struggle we find hope and we find an unmovable Love.
peace and with love,
your friend bob spoerl.