There seems to be a new energy in the air. We are on the edge of a historic moment. Reaching beyond the “once in a life time moment”, this is a first ever moment. In two days, the United States will swear in it’s first black president. This is a great moment in our history, a great moment for our country. In a time of tremendous economic stress and loss, there is optimism and hope. With so much at stake here, I can’t help but think that the nation needs to establish a sense of realism. We need to remember that Obama is human and is only part of the puzzle that is the solution to our woes. That being said, it is wonderful to feel hope again in the leadership of the country.
One of my greatest hopes is that we will have a president and first lady, who as a team have realized the value of education. Parents of two beautiful children, they may be more in touch with American families than any president in the past. I believe that our nation must deal with the immediate issues of economy and war but that our future lay in the strengthening of our educational system.
Our nation, young and old, has found role models in athletics and film. I had a conversation earlier where I learned that individuals are comparing what the president should do as related to “President Palmer”. Yes, that is what they said. A quick look at our list of past presidents will fail to produce this particular president. However, if you are a fan of 24, you will recognize the name. Young boys find heroes in football and basketball stars. Just look at the salaries that these superstars command and you can see where society places its values.
Today, I have a new hope. I heard a quote today from a young boy who has found a new hero in Obama. I hope that we as a nation can help the youth of America realize a path of education and hard work that can lead to dreams realized. We must make education a top priority. We must educate our children for a world that demands creative thinking, a world where there are no “right answers” but rather, answers that move us closer to the place we want to be. We need a system that values intellectual risk taking, not a system that rewards the selection of the “correct bubble” on a test. We need a system that values “out of the box” thinking, not one that measures success through a standard measure.
It is my hope that Obama will help turn this tide. When you consider that we have a “geek” as a president, a man who understands the power of social media, a man who uses technology in powerful ways, we have a man who may very well bring the presidency into the 21st century. Just look at his battle to keep his Blackberry. As funny as the story may sound, this really is a battle to bring the presidency out of the box defined by a world otherwise seen in museums around the world. Obama’s campaign used all forms of social media: blogs, video sharing sites, podcasts and micro-blogging through twitter. Could it be that we will have a president who will tap into the pulse of the country through these same forms of media? Weinberger said, “Markets are conversations”. Is it possible that Obama will follow and continue to engage in these conversations? By redefining the way the presidency works, he may also open the door to more creative thinking in other segments of our society. It is my hope that education will soon follow suit and redefine what it means to teach, to learn and to know. Today, I have a new hope.