Now, it seems that most of my post recently haven't had to do with cycling. Part of me is apologetic for that, part of me isn't. It's just the things that have motivated me to write, but rest easy... cycling stuff to resume soon enough.
Today though, was a day of firsts. If you have somehow found yourself under a rock the last year, today we brought in a new president. Whether you like it or not, if you are an American citizen, Barrack Obama is yours, mine and our president. Our system worked, our country has not split following the election like what sometimes happens after other countries elections.
Although, I hesitantly approach politics on this blog in general, it is hard not to given what at the core of this blog... what a few of us believe can be done by simply riding simple human powered machines. Read the manifesto if you have any doubt on that. It is a movement that desires revolution and with any movement that seeks that, can and does challenge mindsets, worldviews and the politics of many.
President Obama throughout his campaign, in his inauguration speech, in his books has been articulating things that by no means are new but are fresh to American politics, which has drawn in the masses, regardless of race or gender, transcending party affiliation. One of the messages being of hope, and I'll admit here and now, this is what drew me to him in that often I have been overwhelmed by the world that I see... Seeing world events, seeing more hate than love, more selfishness than selfLESSness, leaving me more and more hopeless in what's to come. Obama's words sparked some thing in me BUT still felt disconnected, that these were moreso lofty dreams than potential or coming reality.
Which leads me into another first for today. Jury duty [and trust me where I'll connect these two]. No one likes jury duty, like everyone else I dreaded the hassle of getting off of work and the potential of missing more with less pay and going into it trying to think of ways to get excused. Even sitting with the other potential jurors today before we were called into the courtrooms, many of the conversations were on how they could get out of serving. Which I was equally as guilty of having these same thoughts but after those first conversations, two ladies behind me had a very striking talk [yes, I do enjoy listening in on conversations that I am not a part of].
The two women began talking with the normal small talk and through that it was discovered that one of them worked at a center for adults with special needs and the other had a daughter who I believe had down syndrome. Her daughter has spent lots of time at the center and the mother was very appreciative of all the services, which then lead into story after story of how much the daughter had grown. How much she had been able to learn, how much she is able to learn, how proud of her she was and how she was continually surprising them on what she could do. The other woman then echoed much of what the mother had said... The conversation then turned to how each could see so much potential in people if only they were given the opportunity, if only they were believed in, if someone actually had faith in another person.
All I could do when I was listening to this was smile. This was real hope, hope in some thing greater, hope people regardless of their situation. This was the hope I was trying to grasp. The real deal. And although I don't remember fully all that was said between the two women, I believe their words have both inspired me and challenged me to take steps to really grasp onto that everyday hope as seen in other people and myself.
Amazing what came during a morning spent doing jury duty.