In President Obama's inaugural speech today, he declared, "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear." Yes we did. Because this is the stand that heroes take.
There's no question that these are scary times. As Americans, we are confronted by two wars, an economic crisis, and a failing health care system. As humans, we are facing a warming planet, terrorism, ethnic violence, an HIV epidemic, and widespread hunger. The challenges arrayed against us seem daunting. But impossible odds are the hero's stock in trade.
I speak of heroes because a hero took office today. America's new leader is a man who chooses hope over fear, taking responsibility over placing blame, and unified action over partisan argument. These are heroic choices.
But our new leader is not the only hero this day. We who elected him made these choices also. We rejected fear, and blame, and partisanship. We chose to elect a man who many said could not be elected, who promised us he would shake up the status quo, who called on us for hard work and personal responsibility.
We chose this path, we elected this man at this time, not because it was easy, but because it was needed. Because we believed, like our new president, "that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task." We made this choice because we, too, have the stuff of heroes.
We are the ones we've been waiting for. We're here.
Labels: heroism, social action