Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama and Slumdog

Barack Obama is our president. I find that I can't help but smile as I type that and say it out loud. It's real. It's progress and I am proud of our country today. I am not throwing all my beans in the pot to say that one man will turn our entire country around, but I am clinging to the hope that he brings. I choose hope, too.

While talking with people about their experience of watching or listening to the inauguration today, I had goosebumps listening to teachers talk about watching it with their first grade class, or high schoolers shooshing their peers because this could be the most important day in our history. It seemed that everyone was near a television or a radio. People gathered in auditoriums, around projectors on big screens, around laptops, around computers in cubicles, in stores around televisions for sale. Everyone seemed to understand that something incredible was happening, is happening and it's impossible to not want to be a part of it. Just thinking about everyone pausing their days to pay attention and to experience this monumental day in history, I couldn't help but think again about the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

There is a scene in the movie where Jamal, a young man from the slums is back for the second half of the game show "Who wants to be a millionaire?" and ready to answer the question to win the big bucks. He's been accused of cheating after several correct answers that led him to the $500,000 prize, because everyone is thinking, how could a boy from the slums know the answers to all these questions? His story is tearing through all of India as everyone learns a boy from the slums could possibly win it all. This could be a monumental day. Jamal knows it, the show knows it, and every person in India knows it. People gathered around big screens in offices, in auditoriums, on the sidewalks, in living rooms, in hotels, anywhere there was a television to be found, people were gathered to be a part of this event, this monumental day in history.

This boy from the slums became part of their story. They hoped for him and were there to witness a day that would go down in history. Just as we as Americans witnessed a day that will go down in history. This is by no means the end of the journey. We must run with endurance the race that is set before us. We're all in this together.

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