Friday, November 7, 2008

Observations Post-Election - 2

During the Democratic party primaries, one of the things Hillary Clinton criticized Obama for was his ability to use words, and John McCain repeated this from time to time. I, for one, am looking forward to listening to a president who uses language well, who speaks in a way that inspires people.

What Clinton and McCain failed to recognize was that words are not merely words. Words are action when they touch our hearts and make us want to do better, to be better. To stand in the Lincoln Memorial and read the words of Abraham Lincoln, to stand in the Jefferson Memorial and read the words of Thomas Jefferson is almost a religious experience because their words lift our souls out of the day-to-day and into the realm of the ideals that have shaped our nation, ideals that have been lost, especially over the last eight years.

It will be good to have a president who understands that an important part of his task is to reintroduce us to these ideals. The words with which we think about another, the words we use to talk about another determine how we treat another.

President-elect Obama's words will be chief among his most important actions.

Julius Lester
© 2008

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