Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Soaring Words...and Ultrarunning

Offered without additional comment--these words truly stand on their own merits:

I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

Source: President Obama's victory speech.

The link to Ultrarunning?  I just enjoyed a celebratory run, wherein I felt exactly this way:

"I feel my heart pumping hard, I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.  I want to be light and frolicsome.  I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings." -- Mary Oliver, 'Starlings in Winter'

President Obama got my vote, although I had plenty of reason to be disappointed about the last 4 years.  Mitt Romney was so gracious in defeat, and I believe the country would have been OK under him. 

But today I feel that the President, relieved of the burden of campaigning and facing re-election, will feel empowered to take some bold steps to improve this country.  Things like addressing climate change in a real way, a coherent energy policy, ensuring that women have agency over their own bodies, social and legal equality for all people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and a pulling back from the politics of war as a so-called instrument of peace.


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