After inauguration, real work begins
January 14, 2009
There is much anticipation regarding the upcoming presidential inauguration—which is certain to be filled with emotion and patriotic pride. It is indeed an historic moment for our nation, and is destined to blanket the airwaves and front pages with the coverage that such a moment deserves.
But after the celebration, the discussion of the outfits and the movers and shakers who were there we will still wake up to the current realities: An economy that's making history in a most negative way, record level unemployment, massive home foreclosures and plummeting property values, two wars that cost millions of dollars every day, bankruptcies and business closings, families who struggle to put food on the table, potential loss of the automotive industry—our country's largest manufacturing base, dwindling 401Ks and an aging population, a health care crisis and all of the stuff I don't have to list because we're all living it every single day.
Once again I find I lack the words, the best way to sum up the situation without sounding hopeless. And once again the anonymous writer upstages me with a perfect piece. It is a letter to the president-elect, and here it is:
Dear Mr. President,
I write this letter troubled and weary. I am not well. I am filled with anger, despair and heartbreak. Dreams and ambitions are fading from the fabric of my being.
You see, I was once strong; filled with ambition and promise. There was nothing I couldn't do, nothing I couldn't provide. I instilled confidence; I was a pillar others always relied upon. I always came through. But I've made mistakes and I've strayed from the fundamental values that made me what I once was.
But you, Mr. President, you have an opportunity to restore what was almost lost. Something that is the cornerstone of my very existence. You have been entrusted with something that is the basis behind why people came to me in the first place...hope.
I challenge you to do what is right. To embrace family values and fiscal responsibility. To carry out your elected duties with wisdom, integrity and honor.
Make me proud, Mr. President. Please make me proud.
Written with hope,
—The United States of America
I'm quite certain this writer isn't the only one who would like to say a few things to the new president. If there are other readers out there with something on their minds, please let me hear from you.
This particular writer again motivates me to jot down my own letter to our incoming president.
Dear Mr. President,
I appreciate the enormous undertaking upon which you are about to embark and am awed by the massive challenges you face walking into the situation as it stands today. It will take great strength and determination to meet these challenges, and extreme focus in the face of great expectations to continue to whittle away at the problems with patience and equanimity.
Some people expect you to fail. Prove them wrong. Some people think things will never change. Show them otherwise.
Some people believe in you. Don't forget them—they have felt forgotten for quite some time. Some people have given up on government. Remind them that it is ours.
I know you are only human. Remember your humanity and that of all people.
Take care of our money. We work hard for it and approach our own budgets wisely and with frugality—please do the same.
Talk to us but more importantly, listen. Surround yourself with innovators, scholars, laborers and educators, single moms, married couples, grandmothers and grandfathers and little children.
I believe in your commitment and stand behind the choice of the citizens of the United States in support of you as our president. I send positive thoughts and best regards.
Written in hope,
What would you say to the president? Let me know.
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