I know there is little to say now about this man’s historic victory, but I still have to add my voice to the choir.

I never in my life have felt so hopeful about a political event – Obama’s campaign in America has made me re-think the whole way we are working on disability in India. I hope this will begin to happen all over the world; that everywhere people will begin to see the power of one, the incredible importance of every single thing we do, the fact that we can choose to build or we can choose to destroy.

Yes we can! What a marvelous way to approach the challenges of our times, wherever they are, whoever we are working with.

A friend of mine wrote to say that he wonders if we are worthy of this gift, and whether we will squander it in the “business as usual” which will soon take over once again. It would be  easy – the political machine is so big and its wheels move exceedingly quickly (he’s already getting his daily security briefings). But Obama’s gravity when he gave the acceptance speech made me think he has more important things on his mind than political glory. Somehow, the fact that he was dealing with his grandmother’s death at that very moment put it in a larger context for him and for each one of us, I think. “Do all in the atmosphere of eternity” couldn’t have been more vivid!

I love the feeling of consequence and virtue and character that he summons, and I don’t think it is overstating it to say that a leader like this comes along once or twice in a century. And great leaders inspire other leaders. Here in India, when Mahatma Gandhi was the towering figure of the time, there were so many others who grew in depth and understanding because of his example. Jawarhlal Nehru, Radha Bahen, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Marjorie Sykes, Lala Lajpat Rai, Achint Ram. We don’t have their like today, but they may start emerging again, now that politics has reclaimed some of its vision and grace.

I am not star-struck or hero-worshiping. I have serious disagreements with some of President Obama’s  views (on abortion, primarily). But I respect his mind and his heart and I believe he would extend the same courtesy to me and to others who disagree with him. I think in his presidency we have the best chance yet of finding common ground on an issue as divisive as abortion.

God bless this good man. God protect him and  his family and give him strength to face the challenges that are in store for America and the world in the next eight years. Barack Obama, Zindabad!

  • Bernadette Moss

    I am ashamed and proud at the same time. Ashamed I did so little to help the cause (well I did pray a lot) but proud because I stepped out of my complacency, recruited by, and went with Doug to call people in Ohio to get out the vote.

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