Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Brush with History

I think it's only fitting that I talk about a brush with history today that I had some years ago. At the time I didn't realize how significant it was but now I do.

I was on a flight from Chicago to DC en route to attend training for my government job. Now, we government employees don't have to fly in the cargo area but we certainly don't get to fly in much style either. So, I was surprised and delighted when a newly elected Senator from my state, Barack Obama boarded the plane after me and sat several rows behind. Now, I'm not saying other Senators and politicians haven't done the same but this was the first time I recognized one flying in the same lack of style I was. Of course, that will never happen again for him given the recent events.

Maybe it was because he was so new and hadn't racked up a lot of frequent-flyer miles but I like to think it's because of the kind of responsible person, politician and citizen that he has come to be known as to the rest of the country and world. At the time I will just say that I was impressed with his humble behavior and this was at a time when I didn't know much about him except what was revealed in his run for Senator of IL.

So, it's going to be very interesting to see how much President Obama (I can say that today) is going to retain his regular guy approach to life now that he will be living in the most important address in the world. Hopefully, his family will keep him grounded and help him preserve as much of his connection to the rest of us as he can, something I think is important for any politician at any level since they make so many decisions that affect the rest of us.

One of the most important messages I've taken from his many speeches is that while he will provide leadership as President, we all have to pitch in and do our part. So, this is not a time for any of us to sit back and expect the government to solve all of our problems. While we should absolutely expect our government to provide leadership, especially in tough times such as we find ourselves in these days, we need to remember that this is a country of We the People. I'm excited to see how many young people are so motivated to get involved, but it's not just young people that are getting constructively involved. People from all walks of life and ages are coming together to help move this country forward during tough times and that is such a beautiful thing to see, regardless who's living at the most important address in the world. Now that's patriotism!


Morgan Mandel said...

Too bad you didn't get his autograph!

Morgan Mandel

Anonymous said...

The broadcasters noted that Bush was thankful for everyday he had in the White House...and that may be true, but I couldn't help but feel relief for him as he took his leave. It's so much weight to carry. I hope Obama's term will prove to be a success...and stressless. :) Well, a little less, anyway. I don't envy anyone in that Office.

Debra St. John said...

I saw President (that DOES sound nice) Obama while he was still an Illinois senator on a trip to Springfield once. We were touring the capitol building and saw a session of the Senate. I'll never forget seeing him. My first thought was, "Wouldn't it be neat if that guy was President some day?"

Unknown said...

I think the fact that many of us are willing to work for our country has escaped the notice of our recent leaders. They've been too busy scolding us and trying to defend their own positions. With leaders going in a productive direction we'll have a chance to put our willingness to work into action.

Bob Sanchez said...

"President Obama." I love the sound of that.

Bob Sanchez

Margot Justes said...

We have reached a milestone and there is hope...
Margot Justes