Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change We Must-Welcome, President Obama

Hello World Family,
Falcon, here. I wanted to take a few moments away from what will be a hectic day of celebration for so many of us to pause and honor what an extraordinary day this is for the Unites States of America.

This is a prayerful day for Falcon. I have seen a lot happen in this country in my lifetime that has amazed me and at times, challenged me. When I was a little girl, in many places in this nation, I could not have sat in the front of the bus. I couldn't get a drink of water unless a sign gave me permission to do so. I was lucky being raised in Pittsburgh, where there were no signs, but make no mistake...there were whispers. You knew where you could go, where you could live, and what was completely off limits.

When I was three, my caregiver took me to the Carnegie Library in the Oakland section of the city. The BIG library. I got my first library card that day. I was told that I could take out books; if there was a limit, they never imposed it on me. There were special books that couldn't leave the library, but I could look at them...all of them. This was amazing to me, since there were so many places that had limitations outside of my Hill District neighborhood. This place was different. As I strolled with her past the large oaks and chestnuts, and walked with the granite steps, I noticed the letters engraved across the top of the doorway. I asked her what it said. He said," It says 'Free to the People'. That means anyone can come here."

I found myself thinking about that day this morning. It has been America's dream to live up to its proclamations, The Gettysburg Address, and even our Pledge. When I was child, the pledge didn't match what I was experiencing as an American, and my people have been here for thousands of years. I yearned for a day that "indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" would actually mean what it says. Today, we get closer to the realization of that pledge.

I used the title today (with its obvious nod to YES vocalist extraordinaire, Jon Anderson) to thank all of us for recognizing that we have to collectively grow up. It is time to change, and for the better. It must be better.

We have come together to elect a president on the basis of his content, not the color of his skin, so today, it is better. We have a collective vision that we will not go backward, no matter what challenges lie before us to days of division for division's sake...so today, it is better.

Today, we must commit to the idea of personal service to our communities in ways we never have before. I know some of you are weary; we have been doing this a long time...but, I would ask you to continue to put out just a little longer, so that our children know how to do the job well, and can carry the tasks forward. They are willing and able...so today, that is better.

There will be tough times ahead, there's no way around it, but we are going to keep our heads up, our hearts light, and our perseverance in place. Regardless of the challenges that come, today...because we have decided it will be a 'United' States of America in the truest sense of those words, it is better.

Change, we must. Change, we have. Change, we will continue... because we must.

The world is watching. Our children are watching. Our ancestors are watching...and today, they are smiling.

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