Wednesday, January 21, 2009 came and it went.

The primaries, the conventions, the nominations, the campaigning, the election - and yesterday - the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America - Barack Obama.

I have no idea if you like President Obama or not. You may disagree with some of his politics, or his faith views, or anything, thankfully, this post is not about him as a member of government.

No, today's post is simple - I will support him because he hopes. Not only does he hope, but he realizes that action is the heat necessary to bake that hope into golden brown change. An idealist? Maybe he is. Yet, I believe his actions will speak volumes as I feel he has no laurels to be rested on and no desire to back-slap beyond the last dance at the last ball yesterday evening.

Did you see the Inauguration? Did you see the people? 2 million. And...not a SINGLE arrest. As CCI Programmer, Jon Bennett, said "all they had to clean up was the garbage". Seriously - TWO MILLION people?! And, when you really think about it - the vast majority of them traveled from all over the country just to catch a glimpse of their new President - ON A SCREEN.

THAT kind of active participation in government...and in the something the world should welcome. The presence of a man who seemingly wants to choose good. Will he always make the right decisions? Maybe not. Will he falter? It would be hard for anyone to meet the expectations placed on him. Yet, that has not stopped him from wanting to make changes and creating a US its citizens can be proud of - and the world can be honoured to call an ally.

The presence of this type of hope - the type that inspires people of all walks of life to believe in the goodness in the world - is something I will cheer vigorously for.

I can use all of the words I want to try to explain why I believe in this man, but I think he did it best in his Inaugural Address, yesterday (in two parts):

I have no idea if President Obama will follow through on his promises. No one knows if he will even be a good Commander in Chief. But, people believe in him. They believe in his goals, in his conviction, in his character, and in his hopes.

It might take a long time to bake...but I can only imagine what that hope - in the US and around the world - will smell like once it comes out of that oven, as change.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Twenty-Oh-Nine as my best friend Scotty says.

That's right - the month of January is upon us, which means the sunlight begins to linger a touch longer and the waistlines start to shrink in recovery from the Holidays and preparation for the coming Summer.

Being that we are seven cards into the deck of 365 that make up this year, I figure it is the ideal time to talk about one thing - opportunity. No, I'm not about to go on some long diatribe about how to be better and how to do things better and how to make 2009 the greatest year ever. Those are things I say to myself when I am looking in the mirror in the morning.

Technically speaking, January 1st is simply a day. A 24 hour period of time that brings lists, tasks, actions, inaction, and any number of other 'things'. Yet, on this particular day, of this particular month, every 365 days or so, we all get an undefined fresh start.

It's the cycle beginning anew. A new set of months, a new set of seasons, even a new set of holidays. It's our one opportunity to look at all that has been in the recent past and see if we can make better (or worse if really really want to) during the year-long hand you are about to play.

The irony is - we are given this very cycle every single day - a new set of hours, a new sunrise and sunset, a chance to be better - but the January cycle strikes as being more significant because it represents a chunk of our life. Everything is measured in years - our age, our classification in life (newborn, child, adolescent, teenager, young adult, adult), our seniority, our sports seasons - even the make of our cars. So, when you reflect on the collective experience of one of these cycles - you view the big picture of the entire year.

So, after that clock strikes midnight on January 1 every year, each of us knows, deep down, that we have a brand new opportunity in front of us. Forget that diet you didn't follow last year or the friend you never called. Don't lose sleep over the hobby you gave up after a week or the trip you promised yourself you would take but have not booked. January 1st IS the next opportunity. It is a 1st down in football, the start of a new inning in baseball, the beginning of a new political term or outset of a road trip. What was done previously cannot be changed - the only certainty is the new opportunity you have and that it is your responsibility to make the most of it. You are not really sure what is going to happen - but you know it could be awesome.

So, get to it. Yes, this means you. There is no time like the now. And you know what the best part will be? When you exploit your opportunity for the entire year. You play the game - and you take down the house by spending next December 31st looking at what you did during your fresh set of downs. That is not reflecting on broken promises or unkept goals...that is making the next go 'round even better than the last.

So stop reading this - and go do it...whatever 'it' is.

Hurry up...and don't let years also be the measure for opportunities lost.

Happy New Year.