January 21, 2013
“We hold these truths to be self-evident.”
Today is a doubly significant day for it is both the day of the Presidential Inauguration and it is also Martin Luther King Day. I happened to turn on the radio at just the right moment for the special coverage of today’s grand event. Last night I knew it was coming but by this morning, with thoughts of what I am doing today, I forgot. I am glad I turned on the radio when I did.
As I listen to the 45th President, Barack H. Obama delivering his second inaugural speech, a thought and a question drift through my head: He must have a true Sense of Self to do and say and be what he must be and say and do—as President of the United States?
As I listen to the rituals, the pomp and circumstance of an occasion that happens at least once every four years, I am struck by the energy within the voices of the players in this morning’s production. Politicians, judges, singers, poet, and a minister.
I hear a theme of confidence and celebration and reflection. And again, I wonder how much Sense of Self it takes to do this job, be in the role, tolerate the Egos of others, keep your own in check and be as Directly Motivated as possible at all times.
If ever there was a role that required a performance, I would imagine that the President of the United States would require this kind of stamina, grounded in a Healthy Sense of Self that is unflappable at its best.
I’ve followed this Presidential team more than any other in my living history. My own young daughter was eight years old when Barack Obama was running for the office the first time.—and she was tuned into him. She thought well of him and listened to what he said when she saw him on TV or heard him on the radio. This struck me as significant. It was in part that he was as she said “the first Black Man who might become President.” But more importantly, she said he seemed so sure of himself. Her young energy recognized his confidence and intention to be the leader of the country—comfortable in his own skin and able to speak his heart and mind freely.
I realize he must at times play a role, and I also sense intuitively and see that Barack H. Obama is a grounded person, with a heart for service, blessed with a skill for oration; and he cultivates self-awareness. He is surrounded by so many people with their own agendas, and yet he seems to hold his own in the ways that matter most—even when making concessions for others, at times.
At least this is my reading of him again today, as I listen to him thanking and praising and promising yet again to bring his best self to finish what he started.
May we all give him support seen and unseen, regardless of our “party” so that he can do well by doing right.