Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Story Number 2

I am a person of Indian origin.  East Indian that is.  I was born in the Motherland.  Africa that is.  I now live in America, which is my adopted motherland.  I have lived in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the UK, and the USA.  I have visited India.  I have found the best things to enjoy in every place and have also seen the things that are the same in every place.  All people have the same concerns and cares.  We care for our loved ones and want to have a joyful life.  We also have more things in common than we have different.  Humankind as a whole has fallen into the habit of establishing and enhancing differences for divisive purposes rather than embracing and enjoying our differences.  When we enjoy our differences our humanity becomes closer as we are able to recognize ourselves in another.  This is the basic premise from which I approach life.  I live in Los Angeles which is a melting pot of peoples, cultures and ideas----the place of America where culture is generated and sent all over the world.  I feel perfectly at home here.  I do miss my motherland but I am at home in Los Angeles.  I do not feel like an outsider.  I am American yet I am also part African and part Indian through my heritage.  I feel richer for it.  There are many here like me. They are America and so am I. 

Barack Obama has a similar kind of international experience except that he was born in America.  Barack Obama's life history reflects a story that is common to many Americans regardless of their country of origin.  His grandparents and single mom raised him.  His little sister is part Indonesian and part American.  He has paternal relatives in Kenya.  He has lived the American dream of reaching for the stars.  Despite the difficulties in his life he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and made decisions that show his courageous, tough and generous nature that cares for and stands up for people who come from the same economic background as he does, while still being able to understand how difficult it can be to lift yourself into success without the support and guidance of your family and your community.  He is a beacon of light for those who have shared similar difficulties as him.  So far his decisions show that he has not let his difficulties stop him from reaching his full potential as a human being.  This means he understands how to put things in context and work from that space.  He knows how to get out of the mindset that difficulties can put you in and he reaches above and beyond without stopping.  He does this not just by pointing there but also by actually going there.  Senator Obama was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. He was against putting our young men and women in harms way.  More than 4000 people have paid the ultimate price of their own lives, and tens of thousands of live injured and impaired physically and mentally and therefore by extension their families do too.  Senator Obama made the right call and it came from a place of courage and care for his fellow Americans.  They are America and so is Barack Obama.  Obama is America.   

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