Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Post-Inauguration Comments from Down Under

So let me tell you how I am feeling today after watching the inauguration concert and Obama's presidential address.
I feel very emotional. Throughout both, tears were filling my eyes and occasionally travelling further.
I feel, for the first time in many years, that something might be changing much for the better - and this despite a greybeard's realism.
I am starting to think, again for the first time in many years, that your people and your leadership might be capable of inspiring others again, instead of making your country hated or a laughing stock.
I feel that you might, just might, have some intelligent, compassionate, hard-headed but sensible--a powerful word when you think about it--role to play in the world, not only directly but indirectly, through the way you handle your internal challenges.
I love the inclusivity of what I have been seeing and hearing. Yes, it's all just words and images but words and images are so important.
I wondered how, in my own country, Aboriginal people might feel about seeing Obama up there, and the same for so many other colonised peoples. I noted how Obama had sent a letter to the people of Indonesia, thanking them for their role in his upbringing.
I feel more hopeful than in a long time, despite the dire situation of the planet, and of global politics.
I am aware of the structural impediments to change.
I feel like wishing you, and your country, well.
I feel the awesome responsibilities on Obama and those who work with him and who support him.
I feel, in a most un-Australian fashion, like wearing my heart on my sleeve for a change and saying 'Well done Yanks and bloody good luck!'

-- Graeme Parsons
Darwin, Australia

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