In case you’ve just come out from under a rock in the world’s deepest cave, surrounded by a deafening waterfall, you’ve likely heard that Barack Obama was inaugurated today as the 44th President of the United States.
Normally, I have little interest in American politics — and honestly, I often struggle to pay attention to our own meatheads on Parliament Hill — but I too have been swept up in the message of change that President Obama has promised.
I’m so happy the U.S. elected a man who knows his country needs to change. His industries need to change their way of business. His economy must embrace new green technologies. His country — no matter how much we resent them for it — must return to its position as the leader of the free world.
The fact that he is a black man is just the cherry on top, for me. If he was purple — or if she was purple — a change from the destructive Bush years would still be the most important part of the incoming president’s agenda.
Luckily, I think America got its man. In my 29+ years I have never experienced a politician who speaks with such passion and evokes such emotion. I could honestly listen to him speak all day, and I have about as much use for politicians as I have for country music or Brussells sprouts (little to none).
But Obama, whether you’re Canadian, African, Australian, Italian, Japanese, or American, signals change. He signals a shift in ideals from his predecessor. He signals an opportunity to make the world a better place, to come together to aid and assist each other in our global village, to end pain and suffering, to right the wrongs of this harsh world.
Perhaps it’s putting too much on the shoulders of just one man. He still has to play politics, unfortunately, and cannot wave a magic wand to undo all of George W. Bush’s mistakes and the subsequent fall-out from those.
But just seeing him standing at that podium today — shoulders back and chin high, a signal of strength — made me think that maybe, just maybe, the world is going to be OK. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of mindsets to shift, a lot of greed and corruption to expose and eliminate, but with Obama, we have our beacon of hope. The most powerful man in the world is ready to go, now we just have to help him in any way we can.
Good luck, President Obama. This Canadian hopes you achieve all your goals, because myself and eight billion others will benefit from each positive change you make.