Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Mommy and Me

Nana arrives today! I always love welcoming my mom to town, despite the fact that somehow I am traditionally running around the night before she arrives, trying to make my home look halfway decent.

Her guest room adjoins my office, and is frequently the "spill over" space for all of my projects, books waiting to be reviewed, items to be donated and anything else that doesn't have a home. So on the eve of her arrival, I can usually be found moving stacks around, sorting, dusting and cleaning. It makes me happy to do these otherwise hated tasks in anticipation of her arrival though, because I want everything to be just right when she gets here (or at least not as chaotic as it usually is!)

So last night, I was running back and forth between cleaning and watching the events of the evening unfold. I thought John McCain's speech was very gracious, and I'm going to follow the marching orders he gave us in his words of concession:

"join me in not just congratulating [Obama], but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited."
As for the election of our new President Obama, I was inspired watching the crowds in Grant Park listen to his speech. I found the following section of his remarks to be the ones that will spur me to action:
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Coincidentally, after I voted and dropped Adam off at school yesterday, I found myself at Catholic Charities delivering our canned goods. Lined up in front of the door were families, desperate for the single free sack of food they receive from the organization. The reality of their situation tore at my heart as I recognized the broad cross section of folks there - no stereotypes, just people just like you and me who are feeling the weight of these tough times. It made me ask myself what I am doing personally, daily, to respond to Jesus' call to feed the hungry and to clothe the naked. I hope we can all respond to President Obama's call to "look after not only ourselves but each other" in as many little ways as possible. I hope that these can be words that not only inspire, but that more importantly motivate us to real action.

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