Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This, the America I love

In 1982 I boarded a plane in Oslo Norway bound for America. I was moving to a country of freedom, of great promise and unbounded opportunity. A country of optimism and diversity. I was full of hope and I was full of gratitude. I was among the fortunate few that had been awarded the privilege to study at one of the world's finest educational institutions. I had been given an opportunity that I to this day am humbled by, the opportunity to receive a fantastic education, to meet people from every corner of the world and an opportunity to expose myself to ideas and thoughts that pushed my buttons and challenged my views in ways I had never before imagined.

The America I so strongly believe in has been ill. She has been infected with a disease called "fear". It is an insidious disease. It breeds anger and resentment. It kills hope and it stifles openness. It causes us to loose sight of our greater purpose. It replaces connections with consumption. It substitutes dialogue with dogma. It favors aggression over diplomacy. It leads us astray.

The America I knew in 1982 is the America I believe in. It is the America that billions of people around the world believe in. It is the America of light and promise, of a higher purpose and of hope. That America is alive again. Tonight is the proof. The America I know and love was reborn tonight.

America has been very good to me. I have formed deep friendships. I have found love. I have learned and I have achieved. But, most of all I have made the American spirit my own. The American spirit of acceptance, of ideas and of wonder and openness. A spirit of endurance and of optimism. Generosity. Creativity and ingenuity. That American spirit was reborn tonight.

Tonight is the beginning of something different and something new that is old. I have a strong intuition. I feel it in my bones and I know it in my heart. Today is a new beginning. Thank you Barack Hussein Obama. Thank you for holding up the promise of change. Thank you for leading. Thank you for having the audacity of hope and for reintroducing me to the America I love.

1 comment:

Judith said...

this is beautifully written!