I along with hundreds of millions of people around the world watched the face of American politics change. I sat in my office cube watching the live video stream of the Inaugural ceremony. And when the network got bogged down and the video stalled, I streamed the radio station who was broadcasting the swearing in and Obama's inaugural address.
What was amazing to me was not that Obama is the first black president, but the outpouring of emotion his new position has made in the people of America and around the world. There are tons of cliches that will be used: a new dawn, a new hope, (which sounds like a Star Wars movie) there is a truth to it. I feel like a deep cleansing breath has been taken by my country.
I make no claims to have any great insight as to how his administration should fix our problems, or naive enough to think that progress will come overnight or without any setbacks. But like so many, I am optimistic today. Even though one man can't change the world on his own, he can inspire each person to stand up and do his or her part to better the world around them -- from a few blocks, to a few miles, to a few countries away.
I listened to his speech, waiting to hear the words that will serve as the prologue to his term as president. There were fantastic lines, but the one which most resonated with me was this:
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.The world has been waiting, now it's time to shine.