On Nov. 4, I watched the crowds in Chicago on television, wishing I could be in Grant Park amid the incredible euphoria rising from thousands of hopeful Americans listening to the next president of the United States.
It was time to let go of cynicism and skepticism about our political process and cheer the potential of a new leader. Even though my optimism is tempered with awareness that we face overwhelming problems in this country and the world, I can’t help but think that if we crowded into parks, sat on our front porches, walked along the streets of our communities and engaged in dialog with neighbors and strangers, we will create the kind of world we’d like for our grandchildren.
On my way home from work the next day I thought about saving our Obama sign for our granddaughter who will be privileged to remember Barack Obama as her first president. Sadly, I found the sign slashed and crunched on our front yard. Why? Did the person who felt compelled to destroy our sign listen to John McCain or Barack Obama speak with respect for each other on Tuesday night?
My hope is that by inauguration day this person and others who are angry or fearful will realize that if we believe in our democracy then we must participate in it, not by tearing down, but by speaking up. I believe in our collective potential. If only we could talk to each other!