On this historic morning, as I listened to Barack Obama giving his inaugural address, I was struck by his call to action for every American. He calls us each to take responsibility in transforming our county and our lives.

Over the past few months, our collective reality has shifted. Our economy is in crisis, our livelihoods feel threatened and many of our worst fears seem to loom on the horizon.  From global warming to the national deficit, we can no longer maintain the status quo.

“Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.” -President Barack Obama

We are each given the challenge to look at our own lives and ask: “What hard choices have I failed to make? Where have I not lived from my own values, my own truth? What can I do differently?”

If this is a wake up call, what are you waking up to in your own life?

Each one of us makes a difference in the world. From the mother who lovingly cares for her baby to the store clerk who smiles at his customer to the activist who stands up for her beliefs. Each choice, each word, each action COUNTS.

“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.” -President Barack Obama

While we might worry that we can’t make a difference in our small corner of the big world, the truth is that each time we choose connection over conflict, inspiration over apathy and resourcefulness over exploitation, we do make a difference. And our new President asks us step up and be who we say we are.

“What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.” -President Barack Obama

So I am rolling up my sleeves and bravely meeting the challenges in my own life. What about you?