(…)we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
Bold words. But I expected nothing else.
I have to admit that I kinda had to smile when he stumbled over the words of his oath. He was nervous, heck, I guess so was the rest of the world. I especially liked his wife, the then not-yet-FLOTUS. She smiled, encouragingly, yeah, but also rather amused. I guess she had to fight down the urge to put a reassuring hand on his arm, but the ‘come on, you can do it’ thoughts were rather obvious.
His speech, as always, gave me goosebumps. And, again, the wish for him to just once read Shakespeare to me. Henry V.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
and rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
and say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet shall be forgot
but he’ll remember, with advantages,
what feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter
Warwick and Talbit, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall never go by,
from this day to the ending of the world,
but we shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
Man, whoever writes his speeches is seriously channeling good old Bill Shakespeare at times, I swear.
We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist
Yeah, I actually can see that, I hope that. I just don’t know if everyone is willing to offer a clean slate, let bygones be bygone. This will be long and tiring, frustrating at times, and I am not quite sure if the world is ready to start over, if the world is ready to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and begin again the work of remaking the United Nations. If it happens, it can be just a start, a process I am not likely to see an end of during my lifetime, however long that might be. But, frankly, I’d like to see at least a start of something. Right now, it looks like we are regressing back to the 80s, Cold War and everything, terrorism and fear. Although I still prefer 80s music mostly, this is something I can happily live without.
And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
Again, here I am hopeful. Kyoto protocol and what not, anything and everything that was denied up to now, there is so much potential to be just better than we are, as good as we could be… it’d be a treat to see that happen. Research and Development, serious funding of humanitarian projects, heck, health science. How long DO we want to be the looser against HIV, against cancer, MS, polio and all the other ailments we might or might not have shots against, but once it hits us, we are powerless. The list is a long one of things we need, things we ought to have, things we should no longer have to suffer from…. But, honestly? Again, I reckon this will not happen during my lifetime, but I’d love to see some of the changes, some glimpses of cures on the horizon.
I do not envy President Obama in the least. President Obama, is it just me who still has a hard time wrapping his mind around this? Frankly, the office he takes over, the country he takes over and the economy he takes over couldn’t be much worse. Not to mention the military action in which the troops currently are deployed. Not to mention the international situation in general.
If he is a normal president, he will fail.
If he is a bad president, the US and possibly the world will suffer for it.
So he has to be a president to be remembered. One of a kind. Extraordinary. Just in order to succeed. Talk about high aims. Talk about a desperate situation. Or rather…talk about desperation.
I don’t know if he will succeed. I am not a praying man. I just can offer my best wishes and a place in my thoughts.
Best of luck, President Obama. May you find it in yourself to be extraordinary. To find the greatness you pursue.