In his victory speech last night, Barack Obama spoke words of truth that we need to hear, whether you voted for him or not, if we are to come together as a family:
While each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
... Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated ... But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.
... The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government.
... We are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
Mere rhetoric, or a real and genuine vision of who we are and who we can be?
"[Family] is not an organization to join, but a fellowship to accept. It is who we are at our very core. Family is birth, death, and all the joy and tragedy in between. We may run from it at moments, but we will never truly be apart from it."
"Family is about loving one another, not using one another. Family is about sharing all that we have, not hoarding it ... Family is about supporting our siblings, not controlling them. Family is about hope, not fear."
Obama himself defined hope as "that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting." Such hope tells us that regardless of who you voted for, we are family and we have an obligation to embrace one another, no matter the hardships it might bring or how little we may accomplish. Such hope is the best gift we Americans can ever give to our global family.
"You are my sibling. We are family. This is the essential truth of life. It is the only moral truth that really matters."
So whether you cried tears of joy or heartache last night, or just shrugged and went to bed, let us hope with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. We have elected a brother to lead us for the next four years who is far from perfect, but who sees us as we truly are and who seeks to help us become the family that we were meant to be. Let us hope in him and in ourselves.