There are few times in life when a people can factually recall where they were and what they were doing when a significant event occurred. The election of Barack Obama to the office of President of the United States was such a seminal moment. His electrifying campaign resonated with voters seeking to cast a ballot for change. This great achievement could end with the Obama family moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the masses go back home satisfied that there was a change—but true students of change know that the real story and work is just beginning.
Metaphysical Teaching Moment
In order to transform it is essential that there is a significant and lasting change in thought, word or deed. But here is the important caveat: just because there is a change does not mean there will automatically be a corresponding transformation. The take away thought is simply this: it is quite possible to change but never transform.
It is not enough to wear an Obama family inspired tee shirt and your family is falling apart. It does not make sense to order commemorative Obama decorative plates and your neighbor does not have enough food on their plate. It is hypocritical to enthusiastically shout in public, “Yes we can” and in private whimper “No I can’t”—or worse, declare “No I won’t !” President Obama is riding on a wave of this era’s zeitgeist (spirit of the times) of change; but we should never forget that he is a man—granted the most powerful man in the world, addressing an extraordinary set of social, political and economic challenges. He is not perfect. He will make mistakes—he may even disappoint the very people who support him.
This historic election should tell leaders of leaders it is time for us to step up our game big time: to match behavior with talk; to hold folk accountable; and redouble efforts to heal past hurts. The transformative question on the table is: Will you use your time, talent, treasure to help your family, community and nation to overcome deleterious social ills that have festered, and in many instances, are accepted as the “new normal?” Will you mentor a young person? Will you help a brother or sister exiting the prison system or leaving drug rehab? Will you rebuild the bond of love in your own families? Will you resolve to be part of the solution to local, national and worldwide issues rather than being part of the problem? We must take this moment and turn it into a movement—or we risk wasting one of the greatest moments in this country’s history. This is our time. This is our moment…Yes we can…