Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Big O: Aspirational, yes. Inspirational, no.

Lest you think the last one was a fluke...

I may have been one of the only people who watched Obama's speech and felt it missed something. It was so refreshing to listen to an eloquent president, let alone one who can at least speak the language. And sure, the speech was honest about our challenges. It made us proud to be Americans and of our history. It assuaged us into thinking "we" are up for the challenge. Other than the workers taking reduced hours to save another's job, what is really being asked of the American people? And who is "we"?

There were millions of people on that lawn, more watching their TV sets at the workplace with each other, huddled in the lobby of the Chelsea Market and standing in Times Square. But while we all left feeling better about being Americans, I think we all left alone.

Part of me yearned for a cheap parlor trick. "Look to the left, look to the right, we all stand together and will rise up as one. These are the people in whom we trust and who will bring us out of this. Our fates are in each others hands. " I felt like there was such an opportunity to connect us and tell us how we can help.

But I don't think he knows yet. There is such momentum with Obama, the idea more so than the man. But while we have participated and elected Obama, it was only an election. Obama is still just a promise. And I think, if played right, Obama is a responsibility.

How do you take this speech and convert it into action. How do you take the principles of grassroots empowerment, galvanizing the influencers and turn it into meaningful action?

How do you move from making us aspire to be better Americans to inspiring us to act?

Big O may not know yet. But don't worry, America. Trevor's got a plan. More on that later.

1 comment:

LP said...

Well thank the lord you have a plan Sumner, what would we do without you! Now excuse me while i go wave my Sumner 2012 placard.