Retrospective: For Chuck and Maribel

Yesterday I took a drive out to West Virginia.  Although the D.C. metropolitan area is always  awash in road construction, it is particularly stressful now with the economic stimulus funds creating even more highway rebuilding.  The roads are a mess, but hey, we got jobs.  At any rate, while on my drive, I popped in the two CD set of Yo Mama For Obama that my son Chuck burned for me.  It includes all of the music from my posts.  And I then relived the last year of hope, renewal and a lesson for the children that we can institute change.

This last year has been quite a ride.  The music made me take a moment, take stock, get some perspective on what a fantastic year it has been.  Sometimes a retrospective moment can bring home just how far we have really come.  This all started with Gloria, so here she is again:

The music just sent me on a nostalgic, sentimental journey.  Barack Obama was such a unifying force and I was thrilled that my children finally got to see what CAN happen in this country.  We found a reason to believe again, to hope.

Remember that night in June when  Obama finally nailed down the Democratic nomination?  I will refresh your memory:

My daughter Maribel was so moved that she wrote a great song about what it is really all about.  I will play it again for you because this song hits home for me every time I listen to it:

Maribel, despite her young years, knows exactly what really matters, what the big picture is:

Read a book to your baby tonight,
Bless her with patience and speed.
Teach her the difference between wrong and right,
Between justice, faith and greed.
That’s the change we need, Minnesota.

The journey of truth and good begin in your own back yard, with your own children.  If the lesson is not learned there, it may never be learned.  Party platforms, rhetoric and ideologies have their place, but that is a secondary place compared to providing our children with the values, guts and work ethic they will need to succeed in their own right and in a better world.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  Through good times, bad times, economic euphoria, financial despair, global peace, international adversity, whatever happens to be on our plate at any given time, we have learned a great lesson this year.  There have been glimmers of the beginning of the end of this depression; however, we are no way out of the woods yet.  Whereby the stock market is a leading indicator of trends, the unemployment rate is historically a lagging indicator, i.e. the worst in jobless claims is still yet to come.  An inherent part of American history has been a constant state of overextending ourselves, militarily, financially and morally. Even if we are on the precipice of a recovery, that recovery will not reach the highs of earlier times.  Rather, it might look like a flattening out of trends. But I am writing today not about specific policies.  I am trying to flesh out the sense of accomplishment that we, through our elective process, through our basic sense of what is right, through our human decency, experienced and brought to fruition during the last year.  That year of choice started with and will end with a longing to show our children what we the people can attain, that we do have the power to turn our beliefs into actions. Martin Luther King, though speaking directly to our presence in Viet Nam almost 50 years ago, got it right.  This is his “Come Home, America” speech.  It is fairly long but nevertheless worthwhile reading.  Start your weekend on a good note: read the whole thing:

http://lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificaviet/riversidetranscript.html

To me, this is one of MLK’s most powerful, and still timely, thoughts:

It is time for all people of conscience to call upon America to come back home. Come home, America. Omar Khayyam is right: “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.” I call on Washington today. I call on every man and woman of good will all over America today.

I cited this quote not to proffer up the United States’ isolationism or protectionism; that will be food for thought for a future post.  I bring up this idea now because we have learned from the ascendancy of Barack Obama, and his subsequent 10 short weeks of being our President (incredible — it has only been ten weeks!), that we can be effective proponents for change.  We must be constantly vigilant in our quest for the greater good.  Along the way, we must be very patient, and then seize the opportunity and work very hard when the time is ripe to right things again.

My children, Chuck and Maribel: with much love I am so happy you experienced this last year.  You now know for sure, that it is not just a mother’s soothing words, that the impossible is within your grasp.  You can make an impossibility a very real possibility.  Rejoice and by all means, pass it on.

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