Nov 5, 2008

A Thank You Card for America

You were right, Sam

Some of you know that I'm not an American citizen, but I have lived here for more than half my life, and I'm proud to call this home. I know the importance of contributing all I can to be part of what makes this country a great place to live. I have my reasons for not yet pursuing citizenship, but that's potentially a topic for another day. I will say though, that my Permanent Resident status had me completely GLUED to the election proceedings last night. I was certainly as nervous/anxious/excited as many of you. Naturally I felt a significant (and maybe obvious) investment in the outcome, but there were many other factors that added to my feelings last night. Here are just a few of them -

I live in Florida, a battleground state with 27 electoral votes to contribute to the winning candidate. Yes, the state of hanging chads and cheating scandals. In my particular neighborhood there was a hate crime against a neighbor not 3 streets down from me who displayed an Obama/Biden lawn marker. My daughters are now old enough to understand so much more of what we tell them about the world around us; about it's history, it's progress and how the meaning of that story becomes more and more important to their own futures. I'll tell you - my heart was fit to burst with gratitude last night when I woke them with the news.

And lastly - I can appreciate the fact that Barak Obama is now our President-elect because of what it took to get him that title. It took MORE. More registered voters, more campaign time, more open-mindedness, more discussions, greater access, more organization, more funding, more hope, bigger issues, more crises, more interest, and a broader historical foundation on which to rest this victory.

I know that some of you may not have supported him, and some of you may not even have voted. We already have our common bonds, I know that through my messages and conversations with you, so I am not hear to judge any of that. If you voted in this election - THANK YOU. If you encouraged/reminded/took someone to vote - THANK YOU. If you had open and honest discussions with anyone - friend, family, or stranger - about the issues that surround us - THANK YOU. What I saw last night is that every bit of that counts.

This election was not just about what one man was willing to do to become leader of this country. To me, it was much more about what WE are willing to do for ourselves and for each other to make the changes we so desperately need.