Election Night. November 4, 2008
“We are not a collection of red states and blue states, we are the United States of America.” These inspiring words were some of the first I admired out of the new President Elect Barack Obama and again I heard them tonight, in his acceptance speech of the presidential seat. He inspires me more than any public figure ever has, his words touch my heart and drive me to be a better citizen of this great nation. He challenges my ideas of what I can do for my country, and he asks me to never give up on the ideas that I have and the height that I can soar in my life, and by living in America. I love that he stands for Change, and that tonight he showed that America changes.
“For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.”
If anyone loves the idea of Change it is me. From simple changes, to larger changes and broader goals in my life I constantly live in the forward moving pace, I believe that it is the only way to grow. Achieve growth by setting new goals, learning new ideas, studying new truths and reaching higher and higher each day to achieve something greater that the day before. This simple idea is something I strive for. I love the knowledge that the country we live in also does the same. As a people we grow and learn, we are elastic and we can make leaps and bounds in just a few short years. Tonight I saw the greatness in our democracy. Tonight I gained even more respect for my country than ever before. For we are willing to listen to our hearts and leap.
Sometimes leaping may not seem like the best decision to some, it may not have proven results but more often than not I believe that leaping can lead to the greatest rewards. This idea of leaping first became apparent to me about a year ago. I was sitting in a meeting room in a hotel in Boston, MA. It was the end of a long interviewing day and I was ready to go home, and then a miraculous energy entered the room. He was a candidate for Rhode Island School of Design President, and he was by most standards not the most likely candidate. He didn’t precisely look the part of what we new as the president, he didn’t have the most traditional background and he certainly didn’t think anywhere inside the box. But after the first interview I knew he was the best candidate. John Maeda dazzled me to say the least. It was with his words and his ideas, and just after the first meeting he inspired me to push how I saw myself as an artist and designer and just how far I could go. For a short example here is a sample from his inauguration speech given this September, many similar thoughts were shared in our first meetings.
“What’s missing today is the notion that artists and designers are among the most passionate people about what they do; and this world needs more passion. There’s too much logic, too much systematic thinking, too many soulless business processes dominating peoples’ lives. But we here at RISD have always known that humanity is about doing crazy, unexpected, wonderfully impossible things. As Steve Jobs says, “Here’s to the crazy ones – the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” That’s us. And together, we need to assume our responsibility as an advocate for the inspired, as a champion of the beautiful, as a collective voice that will build a justifiable case for creativity in our world.”
to see full transcript go here:http://our.risd.edu/start-here/
John is an amazing person who taught me so much through those short but most enjoyable meetings that I was privileged to have with him. I only regret I am no longer at RISD to share in the new ideas he is bringing to that great place. But more importantly related to my experience with Barack, I new in a similar way that I knew with John that he is who I wanted to lead my country. Like John calls for us to assume our responsibility as an advocate for the inspired- I feel the call that Barack is challenging us to stand up as a country United, to solve the problems of our generation. I love that he tells us that we need to change too! I loved his TV ads that told the parents of this country to care more, to turn off the TV and to invest in this country with more than just the idea that we deserve everything and are expected to do as littles as we can. I hope as President he will summon us throughout the next four years to do things like turn the thermostat down, to conserve energy, to volunteer in our communities and to like he stated tonight develop a new spirit of Patriotism.
“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.”
Throughout this election I have been drawn to Obama’s continual desire to unite our country though inspiring compassion within our citizens. He often says “We are our brothers keeper”. I hope we become a nation even more concerned with those who live around us, to serve those in need in our communities more than we have in the past and to realize that we are only as prosperous as our country, and all of our country’s citizens. I understand that argument that my family has tried to so hard to explain about taxes and dividing wealth and the wrongness in it, and I listened, However at this point in my life I had to make this choice, to support this candidate who has moved me to feeling more pride in my country, something I have never lacked, but now feel even more connected with. As a young voter and citizen of America I have hope and faith in this government and candidate that he can inspire our country and make it a better place for those that are struggling, for those that may have lost hope and for those who are less fortunate than me. I am not a cynic and I hope to not adopt that attitude, however I can see how failed politicians in the past have led those older than me to have that way of thinking. But let us come together now.
As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.”
Right now I believe in my Country. And I believe in my newly elected President. Barack Obama
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