Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barack Obama's Story: If you think you can grasp me...

Barack Obama’s Story: If you think you can grasp me, think again

By Walter Haan,

On this first day of Barack Obama’s presidency, I thought I’d reflect on some quotes, one from poetry, that fit the man and what he has accomplished.

In her poem, Delta, by Adrienne Rich, the poet wrote:

“If you think you can grasp me, think again.
“My story flows in more than one direction.”

Margaret Mead wrote:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world; indeed,
it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Archibald MacLeish, poet, future speechwriter for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, future Librarian of Congress, wrote the following in 1919 in a letter to Dean Acheson, a future and arguably one of the best of our 20th century Secretaries of State (born in Middletown, Connecticut, my hometown):

It is man’s “purpose to act upon the world, not to wait to see what the world will do to him.”

The following is attributed to Eugene Debs, consistent Socialist Party candidate for president in the early 20th century:

“While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

And Ralph Nader said in Middletown, Connecticut, during a small rally on June 7, 2008 for his presidential candidacy (I was there):

“The voter of conscience stands for the future of country. If people do not mobilize they will be run into the ground.”

Enough voters mobilized to give America the perception of a new beginning and saved themselves and all of us from being run into the ground. Let us hope. —Copyright © 2009 by Walter Haan,


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