On Tuesday evening, I was snuggled up on the couch with a beloved friend, my toddler was bouncing on and off my lap and my teenager was 2000 miles away but as close as a whisper on the other end of the phone line.
At one point, the little guy grabbed the phone from my hand and said, “Bubba, I love you,” in his garbled toddler voice. Every day with him there is a new, exciting first.
But that night, we shared, all of us, another first. We listened to Barack Obama give his acceptance speech in front of a crowd of 200,000 people as President-Elect of the United States of America. I thought about how my kids will grow up remembering one of the first presidents in their lifetimes being an African-American. How will that change their experience of living in our diverse and beautiful country?
Every person: farmer, stockbroker, retired veteran, stay at home mom or therapist who voted for Obama on election day added their intention to his message, “Yes we can.” We collectively decided to choose hope instead of fear, unity instead of disconnection and new action instead of the same old politics.
I believe that Obama is a leader who can create transformation. Not just because he is the first black man to hold this powerful office or because he isn’t entrenched in corporate politics, but because he inspires people of many different backgrounds and belief systems to come together. After all, 63 million of us voted for him.
And did you see the cheers and tears of people all over the world? They want us to be the country that we can be.
As he told us Tuesday night, the road ahead will be a difficult one. We have veered far off course in many ways. But I believe that if we are honest and mindful about our current situation and hold in our collective hearts an intention to move forward with positive action, we can heal.
One step at a time. And this first step, this incredible unifying moment in history, is a good one.