Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Talk of...

It's said never to discuss politics or religion with friends and family. But I often ignore the warning. Having said that, you can leave now if you've already heard enough about the historical significance of today's presidential inauguration.

Thousands of people are gathered in Washington waiting for the noontime swearing in of our country's next president. What do you think is on everyone's mind? Will this moment in time be remembered as the beginning of real change or mere hyperbole? In other words, are you a pessimist or an optimist?

Some kids from a public high school in the Bronx wrote poems for Barack Obama asking him about his promise of change. Listening to them, I'm not sure if it's pessimism I'm hearing, or uncertainty. Probably the latter.

And yet, I often feel cynical at times: A vendor was selling $30 hoodies on the mall in Washington this morning; the inauguration ceremony itself is costing us millions of dollars more than other inaugurations; the world is "hot, flat, and crowded."

Personally, I prefer to have a positive outlook, but do find it hard to maintain. I'm well aware that you can't change a leopard's spots, but I'm also aware of selective breeding. We do it all the time; think of all the hybrid varieties of flowers we have to choose from.

Spring will come, and with it, new growth.

14 comments:

tina said...

Regardless of what the next four years brings, change is usually for the better. I truly believe this.

Dave said...

I was irritated yesterday when I saw our Tennessean Newspaper put out an ad that encouraged people to send in $10 to have a message of encouragement printed for Obama. The likelihood that he will read the Tennessee is very low. All our newspaper is doing is trying to profit from this. It seems very low to me on a historic event like this. Maybe it's just the cynic in me.

Skeeter said...

I am the optimistic one but also frown with Change at times. I am truly hoping for Change for the Good! The past Presidents are being announced as I type….

Roses and Lilacs said...

1. I still have hope.

2. I agree this huge party does not send the right message to the nation and the world which is suffering now. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he is just going along with tradition.

3. Nothing could ever be as bad as the last administration. Our former president could barely speak English.
Marnie

Darla said...

Well guys, none of this took the Lord by surprise! I will pray for our Nations Leaders and myself to be the best I can be and see how it plays out!! Love reading all of the different comments on the subject!!

Frances said...

Hi TC, I disagree about the cost of the event. It is money set aside for this anyway. That is the way governmental accounting works. Once budgeted it is done. The interviews with some of the over a million people who rode buses and came to DC to see it and stood in freezing weather for many hours were beyond optimistic. The speeches were inspiring and what we need is to be inspired, to be motivated to try and overcome the vast problems we are facing now. I have read opinion pieces by economists in the NYT about what should be done about the banks, the cause of the big stock market tumble today. I hope the Obama people are listening to him.
Frances

JulenaJo said...

I agree with Darla's comments. Be the best I can be and pray, pray, pray.
As for the over-the-top cost of the president's ball--does it send a bad message? On one hand it looks like he doesn't care to conserve resources, but if he had a low-key affair, it would send a message of fear to the nation, rather than a message of optimism. And how is the money for the ball acquired? Donations? I'd be interested to know that.

Nikki said...

I tend to be optimistic. For good or for bad the world is changing every day no matter what else is going on and I just hope for the best and try to prepare for the worst...

TC said...

Ms. Tina: That's a lot like how I view things also.

Dave: I would have to agree with you about the Tennessean newspaper. Shame on them!

Ms. Skeeter: I too hope for positive change!

Ms. Marnie: Well put.

Ms. Darla: Amen!

Ms. Frances: Even if monies were set aside, I think they should've cut back on all the hoopla and used some of that money for more important things. But I agree with you on the other things.

Ms. Nikki: I read this somewhere and it makes a lot of sense: "avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable." I'm not sure if that's a pessimistic outlook or just the way it is.

TC said...

Ms. JulenaJo: Thank you very much for stopping by. I was mentioning the cost to my wife and she said she heard on the news that a lot of the money came from private donations. So, I guess there's still plenty of rich folks out there.

Leon Basin said...

Keep your head high! Keep writing and sharing.

walk2write said...

I look forward to each new day and try to not make the same mistakes as in the day before. It would seem impossible to do from a human perspective (I'm such a creature of habit!), and it is. I think Obama realizes it too, and I have a lot of respect for him. I'm glad his wife is such a pragmatist. She and those adorable daughters of his will keep him grounded and maybe remind him to stick to his principles/faith/beliefs and not be swayed by anyone else's. As for certain authors now, I'm a bit more cynical. It's easy to be "fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich" when you've got a bestseller or two under your belt. Apparently, to achieve that kind of success, all you have to do is find a useful (popular?) mantra and say "repeat after me...." Thanks for the link to the article about ethanol, by the way. It's best to consider both sides of the argument.

TC said...

Leon: Thanks for stopping by. It's always a pleasant surprise to see new visitors. And it's even more special when they take a few extra minutes to leave a comment.

W2W: Unfortunately, I often make the same mistake over and over again - procrastination.

I read a scathing review of Friedman's latest book by someone who thought the author didn't use proper literary technique and who also thought that just because Friedman was well off it discounted his sincerity. I disagree with that analysis. The you've-got-money-so-you-don't-know how-a-poor-man-feels mentality don't cut it with me.

walk2write said...

I guess rich can be considered a relative term. I'm not sure if I agree with you about the empathy thing where nonfiction is concerned. You can let your imagination do the work when writing fiction, but we all (even Oprah!) know where imagination can take you in a nonfiction piece.