Opportunity Knocks

Times are tough and challenging in our country and the world today.   What a chance for opportunity!

It is Sunday, and I just finished reading my newspapers and listening to President-elect Obama on “Meet The Press”.   Despite our dire current circumstances, I am walking on air.   I am breathing deeply again.  A huge weight, one that I wasn’t even cognizant of, has been lifted off of my shoulders since the election.  I only knew it was there because of the lightness since it went away.  I am happy.  I am so optimistic.  And you should feel likewise.  Here’s why.

Frank Rich, in his essay in The New York Times today, speaks about the “best and the brightest”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/opinion/07rich.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

When that phrase was coined by David Halberstam to describe the intelligentsia appointed by President John Kennedy, there was a considerable degree of sarcasm attached.  Even the “best and the brightest” of people could not get us out of the Viet Nam quagmire.

As I watched Obama select his people, at least a good week or two before Frank Rich wrote his article, I believed that Obama would be different from Kennedy.  Obama has chosen smart people with which to surround himself and offer their advice.  However, Obama, right from the outset, expects results.  If these results are not delivered, his appointee will be out.  We have only to have observed his campaign to see his purposeful path.  This focus will be implemented in his Presidency as well.

Regarding domestic policy and the economy, Obama set the stage in his interview with Tom Brokaw today.   True —– we face serious challenges.    But it is precisely these challenges coupled with real leadership from Obama and his team that will provide us all with fertile ground for immense opportunity.  As Obama continues to believe, as he has all along, he can do it but he needs our help.  Even during this transition time between administrations, Obama’s team, led by John Podesta, send me emails on their thoughts and actions.  Obama is the picture of absolute transparency, as he very well knows that in order to exact help from the public, they must be kept informed.   He balances his overall policy for the nation with  a sensitivity to individual needs.  He will not sacrifice one for the other.  And I believe him.

But opportunity is here.  Similar to the vast changes brought about by the semiconductor chip and Microsoft Windows, the time is ripe for deep, wide-ranging change in our economic structure, design and advancement.  Do not pity yourself for having lost your job.  Go re-invent yourself to secure a place in the new world, perhaps a green world, where you can adapt your skills to what we need now.  Shoot.  If I was 30 years younger, 1000% smarter and a ton more energetic than I am today, I would go and start a car company.  All excuses apart (and that’s exactly what they are), Obama will help us only if we help ourselves.  It worked in his campaign, from each voter  to each household, from each district to each county, and from each county to each state.  Today, Obama told Brokaw that we need to rebuild this country, brick by brick.  With Obama’s leadership and our hard work  it CAN be done.  We all need to grasp the bull of opportunity by the horns, be innovative, be timely, respond to our current needs with extreme hard work and seize this moment.  The stage is set for each individual to use his given and learned skills to better this world.  An opportunity like this comes along rarely, but we have this incredible situation here today.  It would be such a pity, a total waste, if we did not take advantage of it.  Throw in a new, re-tooled batch of ethics and we will have a virtual Eden on our hands.

Regarding foreign policy, Obama is similarly realistic and sensible.  He said today, so simply yet truthfully, that our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq is not an end in and of  itself.  We are not, we should not, be there to just occupy and nation-build in our own image.   Instead, we must have long- term, specific goals to effect change, to help those countries transform themselves into economically viable entities that would benefit their citizens and thus, our world.  Obama, once again, emphasized the building block method of creating a vision of world harmony, brick by brick.   Economic sanctions, not bombs,  would be one way to shape a healthier world.  Establishing talks, communication, especially with those nations that do not see eye to eye with us, would be another way of promoting better individual lives and international harmony.  Shunning has no place in this process.  Once we help to provide a nation with a better economic scenario, the fringe elements, the radical, destructive elements such as Hamas and Al-Quaeda, just might find their causes to be irrelevant.  The people, more prosperous, healthier and more confident, will no longer have use for nor offer continued support for these outrageous groups.  What do you think Bill and Melinda Gates have been doing over the last decade with their foundation?  Exactly this.  Their health care initiatives have had a hell of a lot more impact on world peace that all of Bush’s eight years, Clinton’s eight years and so on, down through our Presidents’ tenures of modern times.  Personal responsibility working for the greater good.

Finally, at the end of today’s interview, Brokaw asked Obama how he and Michelle would bring a new world into the White House.  I continued to be thrilled by his response that parents must read to their kids, that science must be elevated again and that our cultural diversity must be celebrated.  Even on these  “small”  topics, Obama shines.  He is so reasonable, full of plain old common sense, that he astounds me in his simplicity.

All I can say, is from my standpoint as a mother, Obama does a mama proud.  He is our chance out of this mess that we all created, but that virtually no one had the guts to stop, to put our overall  well-being above our personal gain.  Opportunity to right this crisis is here.  Obama can lead us from the now into the future, but we must help him, person by person, brick by brick.  If the resulting feeling of accomplishment is anywhere close to the fulfillment I felt after Election night, I am going for it once again.

In the words of a wise three year old, who goes by the name of Winston: “I’m serious, baby!!”

Opportunity is knocking.  Care to join me?

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2 Responses to “Opportunity Knocks”

  1. Natalie Rosen Says:

    YES, show me the way!!!

    Saw him on Meet the Press. I continue to have to pinch myself to remember this is real. As my 401K gets smaller and smaller a glimmer of hope appears on the horizon!

  2. yomamaforobama Says:

    nat-
    i know its tough but i also know you do get it: this is about more than a 401K. hang tough.

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