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.