America came out in record numbers last night to choose their new leader. It was a sight that inspired hope.
Whatever your politics, to see so many people from all walks of life come out to claim a stake in their own future, has to be encouraging. For at least the last 15 years, many people have blindly followed marketing and salesmanship without accepting personal responsibility for themselves and their countries. Many have allowed themselves to be blindly tossed about. Waking up now, they find that neglect has left them weakened and vulnerable on many fronts.
As a Canadian I could not help but note what great emphasis was placed on the colour of the candidates in the US election. But then, colour has always been a very defining attribute in America. I can say that it has never been a defining issue in Canadian elections. But lest that sound smug, I acknowledge that for all our melting-pot-diversity, in Canada we have never yet elected a person of colour or a woman to be our national leader.
To its credit this year, America seriously contemplated all kinds of leaders, black, white, male and female. In the end, the majority chose the person they thought most able for the enormous job at hand. Last night Americans picked their leader, not a colour or a sex.
I am reminded of so many wise and illuminating Dr. Seuss stories. The Sneetches on the beaches fought over whether those with stars on their bellies were superior to those with none. The people who liked to eat their toast butter-side up fought to the brink of nuclear extinction against those who liked their toast butter-side down.
Today, we have many serious challenges as a species. We need to evolve so much about the way we humans think and manage each other, the planet and our shared resources. Like it or not, we are all unified by our mutual dependence on air, water and energy.
Obama is a brave man. The road to recovery is more than daunting. As he said, the climb, she is steep. But for the first time in my life, people all around the world seem truly united in great hope and a heightened sense of personal responsibility for our choices. It is the choices we are making every day that are defining the people we will become.
Great work lies ahead. But we are what we believe. I believe that so long as we are prepared to work hard together, while committing to personal discipline and responsibility, we can turn this ship around.
I believe that after a period of real darkness, world sentiment may have turned and saw a glimmer of light last night. I believe that Dr. Seuss would be proud.
Cory’s Chart Corner
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