Today, Barack Obama was sworn in as POTUS for the second time. The inauguration ceremony has cemented his place in history. No longer is it a fluke; we don’t have to cover our eyes and peak at the television, as votes are counted.
When I saw it four years ago, tears streamed down the side of my face. Today, my eyes were filled with admiration. My heart reached out to God in prayer, as I watched him take that oath a second time. In awe, I pleaded for many more lives to be inspired by this scene.
Last term, Barack’s candidacy brought forth a new generation of politicos. During his second campaign, many of the people around me were just as invested. At this point, it is almost alarming when others don’t share that sentiment or have a candidate that they are equally passionate about.
But there is this one friend…A true conspiracy theorist, who believes our votes have no meaning and our country is run by the men who sit behind the man we’ve elected. He says that no matter whose campaign you volunteer for, how many doors you knock on, or how many people show up to the poles…those in power have already put their money where their mouths are.
This friend and I have agreed to disagree more often that I’d prefer. His, is one of those perspectives I pray will be changed. I cannot imagine that those same people with money just allowed a man named Barack Obama to hang out in their big White House for a second term. It is hard to believe that we truly have no voice, when our voice was everywhere on that stage today: Myrlie Evers, Judge Sotomayor, a gay poet, a drug dealer turned rapper turned political activist. a struggling waitress who went onto to become the first American Idol. After all, isn’t that “We the people”?
History tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by the people here on this Earth. – Barack (during his Inaugural speech)
I wonder how many times “we the people” will need to hear “us”, and “together” are the only avenues for the kind of change we desire. If there is no communal effort, there is no momentum. True freedom isn’t about one man at a podium, or any of the men seated behind him. It is the work that all those men and millions of others come together to do. It is in each voter’s ballot, in every signature on a petition, it is a bus boycott, it is a lunch counter sit in, it is in a Million Man March, and it is a collection of burned bras.
Change starts with not only in debating political differences but also in the ability to put those differences aside for a common goal. The 44th President has never said that he could change things alone. He has asked for our help, every single step of his journey in the first four years. Not everyone truly heard that.
Today, we were reminded what happens when a majority comes together to achieve a unified goal. Through prayer, and visual manifestations like this inauguration maybe I can get that friend to the ballot in four more years. Maybe he can get another friend to do the same. After all, we can’t change things we don’t make the effort….