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“We have so many different stories, and one single destiny”

When I went running tonight (it is usually where I do my thinking) I replayed this historic week and its place in history.  Our first President of ethnicity is one piece.  The way he was able to gain the support of the majority of our country in just 22 months with a grass roots campaign through modern communication techniques was brilliant yet a throwback to traditional ways of fundraising and campaigning. 

Whether you were for or against the President-elect I looked at it as a big time in our society and a great learning one.  I wasn’t alive for JFK or for MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, I hear the stories of the many people who know where they were when they heard that speech.  I’m not sure, but I’m guessing Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech will be one for the ages.

That is why I had my 9 year old son listen to both John McCain’s concession speech and Barack Obama’s victory speech with me.  My 6 year old daughter is too young.  While I know it might have been boring to an adult’s ear, I’m sure for a young kid that it might not have meant much.  I just wanted my son to remember sitting on the couch with his dad while he listened.  I told him that he didn’t need to remember the speech but to remember and take something from the speech.  When it was over, I asked him what he got out of it.  he mentioned the 100 year old lady who had seen a lot of change.  He then said, “We are country full of people with many stories, yet one destiny”.

I asked if he understood and he told me that like our family, we are four different people with different storied , but we do things together as a family.  Just like a team.  Kids are so great.  Their minds are clear and they help us see things in a different light.  I hadn’t even picked up that line until my son mentioned it.  Over the next several days I applied it on many different levels.  I applied it to Work, Family , and even my classmates that I saw at my 25th high school reunion.  The stories are diverse and should be celebrated.

Most importantly I thought about the many stories of the women such as my wife and mother who have battled or are battling cancer.  Their stories are varied yet all of these women have one destiny and that is to find the cure for and beat cancer.  Their stories have inspired me.  I was talking to my wife who told me that a mom wanted to interview her because she found my wife to be an inspiration.  While my wife does not find herself to be an inspiring figure, she was flattered and it made her feel good. 

I reminded my wife that change begins from within.  We recounted how my mother has changed in her fight over the last 5 years.  I told her that she shouldn’t passively be an inspiration, but to be a little more active in how she affects others.  We agreed that it is a time to say “Yes We Can” and I say that in a non-political way, but at an individual interest level. 

For me, as we approach this holiday season and I look forward to this work week, I will bring my own destiny and inspiration to my actions.