Monday, January 19, 2009

what is your dream?

Today, the man who is to become the next president of the United States asked Americans to go out and serve their community. A record number of citizens choose to volunteer today, including myself. I am lucky however, that my company is a small family owned business in which they encourage such community involvement. While at the local food bank, where I made Valentine's to put into children's backpacks along with enough food for the weekend, since that was more than likely the only food they would have to eat; we were asked if this was our first time volunteering... almost everyone raised their hand. So I ask you, how can one question the motives of our next president when he, even before he has taken the oath to serve, protect and lead our country... creates such change in our lives.

Change. The word almost had a cliché-isque quality to it during the campaign. But change reminds of another time in our history, September 11th. There was this 'commercial' for lack of a better visual. There were no spoken words, just simple images. The camera was panning down a quiet street of row houses intertwined with footage of the attacks. Then the words 'the terrorists wanted to change America' slowly scrolled across the television. The screen faded to dark and then reappearing was the same quiet street of row houses, except every house had an American flag flying proudly in their yard... and the words 'they did'.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted change. He preached for civil equality and public servitude. He just wanted everyone to get along. Such a simple thought, yet so difficult... even to this day... for some to believe in. Well... we elected our first African-American president in November and thousands upon thousands of new volunteers came out today to help the less fortunate. Change is here, Dr. King.

'Dream as if you'll live forever... live as if you'll die today.'

Saturday, January 17, 2009

peace, love and obama

America was founded on freedoms. The freedom of religion. The freedom of speech. The freedom to stand up for what you believe without the fear of persecution. My Italian great-grandfather came to Ellis Island without knowing one word of English. He survived and my family was founded.

So I find it very Un-American that there are still people, not the majority, but people who 'attack' you to try to convince you that you are wrong for having your own opinion because they think their opinion/belief is right and you are in the wrong. Not everyone is going to believe the exact same thing. It's not humanly possible or socially warranted. You win some. You lose some. What matters is that you stay true to yourself and your beliefs. There is a greater purpose in this life than taxes, global warming and who is associated with whom. That is the mundane. Think about the esoteric. The spiritual. The meaning of life. Why are you here?

As a woman, I am proud to say that I can vote. I am as proud to say that I voted for a man that not just a generation ago was not able to drink out of the same water fountain as me and he is to become the 44th President of the United States.

Furthermore, The same people who voted against gay marriage are the same people who would have voted against the end of women's suffrage and who held the fire hoses in Birmingham in 1963. Basically this is the Civil Rights Movement: Part II. I understand and respect others religious beliefs that a marriage is between a man and a woman. But love sees the soul of a person; not the color of their skin, not the age or gender of their body and not the religion that they were bought up to believe in. It is hard enough in this life to find true love. So why limit yourself? Why limit others? We're all human beings with feelings. With hearts. With emotions. With souls. In the words of Shakespeare, "If you prick [them], do [they] not bleed? If you tickle [them], do [they] not laugh? If you poison [them], do [they] not die? If you wrong [them], shall [they] not revenge?" And by [them], I mean you.

'A mind is like a parachute. It only functions when it's open.'