A Life in One Act

barackobama-600Over this long weekend, I took time out to watch the Presidential Inauguration on Monday.  I haven’t watched it since…well, since I was in Washington, DC watching President George W. Bush swearing in to become President back in 2001.  This was before 9/11. 

January 2001 marked a lot of firsts for me.  I went to my first hockey game ever that month.  I went to my first inauguration that year. 

I remember being out on the cold Mall that rainy day.  I discovered I put a hole in my well-loved snow boots as we headed up to the White House to watch the Presidential motorcade go by. Back then, you didn’t need a badge to get that close to the White House.  All you had to do was go through a security check and be on your way. 

This year, I watched the President and his family emerge from St. John’s Episcopal church after their morning prayer.  It was weird watching them come out of that place.  Almost 20 years earlier, I was delivering blankets and food to the homeless sleeping on those very steps.  It made it feel so surreal that if I had known all those years ago I would be standing in the exact same spot as the first black president of the United States years later, the moment would have been more humbling.

I watched the entourage around the President.  That Senator…oh, I know him.  I hosted a luncheon that he attended.  Of course, back then, he was running for President of the United States.

It’s so interesting to watch this city I once called home still bring back fond memories of days gone by.  Yet, as I watch the inauguration, I see how our America has changed.

Listening to Senator Schumer talk about the days of old when Lincoln last stood on those same steps, the Capitol dome was halfway complete.  He did not want it to be completed (due to lack of funds) because it also symbolized that the nation was divided.  The dome could not be completed until the nation was whole.

Yet, in 2013 we still stand as a Nation divided.  Some things have still not changed.  We are still the industrialists vs. the agriculturalists.  Farmers hate city politics.  City dwellers hate farmer politics. 

I watched the tweets from WUSA 9 reporters covering the event.  They posted pictures of protesters.  One sign that stuck out was: God Hates…and whatever else it had to say after that.  I responded with “Maybe their God hates, but the real God loves.” 

It’s rather heart-breaking to see that a human being would say that “God Hates…”  You best pray He does not hate.  If He truly hated, everyone would be in a whole heap of trouble. 

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

There is a lot of truth in that verse.  If there is any verse you carry in your heart…that’s it.  Why?  Because it reminds you that you are a stranger to God if you do the opposite of love (which is to hate).  People who preach hate and say “God Hates” apparently does not know God and should not speak on His behalf.

People need to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to those who claim that “God Hates.”  Where does it say that in their Bible?  NOWHERE. 

This blasphemy is a sin (a lie)…and they hide behind their religion to preach this hate.  This is not God’s way. 

One of the things that I got out of yesterday’s inauguration was this…

Be the hero that humanity needs.  Make that one act that you do, the act that changes the course of humanity for the better.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream.  So did Medgar Evers.  Mrs. Evers-Williams was the first woman to ever open the inauguration in prayer.  She is also continuing her former husband’s legacy in civil rights. 

I thought that if both Mr. King and Mr. Evers were still alive, they would be proud that one day their dream came true.  We still fight adversity for many different reasons, but we are marching on.

We watched the many different people come to the podium yesterday, all from different backgrounds, from different religions, races, and heritage. 

A young fashion designer was able to watch not one, but two of his designs go down in US history.  He is the embodiment of the “American Dream.”  Jason Wu, who is Taiwanese, came to America to design.  That was his dream…to design in America.  The First Lady of the United States chose his design two times to wear to the inaugural ball.  It was because of this, his designs will become forever a part of American History and will be displayed in the Smithsonian Museum.

What better dream could that be for an immigrant?  He comes to America to be a fashion designer.  The First Lady chooses his work to go down in American history.  This is the embodiment of the American Dream…and even bigger than a person can dream.  Who would ever think that the President’s wife would help a young immigrant make his dream come true?

Thanks to that first dress, this unknown designer became a world class fashion designer at the age of 26.  He’s now 30 years old and has even designed for the likes of Target, which the First Lady also bought and wore.

This inauguration was about the American people and how we have become a melting pot.  We are not blacks and whites.  We come from many different backgrounds with different dreams…our very own American Dream.

When my mother came to America, her dream was to give her children a better life than what she went through.  My mother was a slave, sold into slavery by her own parents when she was a young child.  She married the first GI to take notice of her and spent the rest of her life in America living her own American dream.

michellebarackWhile the styles of the Obama ladies were on everyone’s radar, it’s good to see a family that inspires us all.  In the past, we’ve always seen cold Presidential families.  With the Obamas, we see a happy, warm and loving family…and that is beautiful.  It makes them appear more real.  Even more amazing, watching the way Barack looks at Michelle.  You can tell that he is so in love with her…even after all of these years.  He still looks at her the way all of us hopes that our spouse will look at us every single time.

If there’s anything you take out of this presidential inauguration, it should be how you define who you will be and what inspiring mark you will leave on humanity.

Abe Lincoln’s dream was the Gettysburg Address.  John F. Kennedy was Profiles in Courage.  Muhammad Yunus became the banker to the poor.  Joan of Arc was a young girl that led her people to victory.  Malala Yousufzai wanted girls’ education.  Spartacus was a slave that rose against the Roman Republic.

These are individuals that left a mark on our history fighting for the unjust…fighting for change.  If it is just one act that can save the world, then do that.  Change the world for the better.  When you die, let your life be remembered by all for that one moment that changed the course of humanity for the better.  Just ONE act.  That’s not asking for the moon and stars.  Just commit your life to changing the world in ONE act.  Not too many have made it to two acts…just one act was all the world needed from them.

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