Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The day Black America has been waitin for has finally arrived...2 short hours ago Barack Obama was sworn in to become our nation's 44th president. Livin in DC has been definitely exciting if not completely overwhelming this past weekend...
I guess this weekend in particular would be one where I should be excited to go out and be a part of the unique DC festivities that came out to celebrate this incredibly historic moment. And I had every intention and plan of going out and doing just that and then I began to feel a little bit suffocated and stifled....looking on facebook: "so and so is in DC," "so and so says on my way to DC," "let's start celebrating Obama!"
While as much as I feel the spirit of celebration and the pride and that have taken over I also am still grounded by the state of the country, especially DC. With the city crowded, over-crowded with tourists, public transportation flooded beyond any normal capacity the inauguration seems to not really be an event that many people of DC would be attending. Other restrictions on the event, such as the use of strollers, prevented a single one of my students (who come from families of 6 or 7 children) from attending the event.
One of the things that I have really supported of Obama has been his advocacy of public service. As a public servant I wish that:
1) Advocacy of public service was incorporated into schools in more than just the teasing of children who receive them. I see our schools instilling beliefs of individualism in our children rather than encouraging them to work together. I know of some private schools that require community service for graduation, but I think better than that (and more practical for me the urban public elementary school teacher) would be school service trips and larger than that an entire effort by the public school system to support itself, as well as the school communities.
2) I saw more people working to support and provide public services to those in need. It seems that despite Obama's advocacy I saw more people talking about celebrating, attending events, drinking on U St, standing in the winding lines at Ben's Chili Bowl and throwing around money downtown, than talking about donating their time to Obama's call for service on Monday's holiday. I'm not gone stand here preaching like I didn't go out and celebrate and I'm not faulting anyone for that. I'm just saying. Sadly for DC this weekend's events didn't really seem to spur that much public service outside of profiting bartenders and cab drivers downtown and all the vendors at the inauguration events. Then again I thought about going to go volunteer at the middle school down the street from me, but then couldn't bear to see a child on my day off of work...
Obama spoke today on the work America needs to do and the American people need to do to bring this country together and to get us through this depression (get it right. not a recession. we in a depression now).
So for me, I'm not going to preach what I think anyone should do. But as I watched the inauguration from the comfort of my crib that as much as I realized how blessed I am in this time of immense need that I have been comfortable doing my job and nothing else. Seeing that as my contribution. But I should do more and I can do more. And that is my goal.
So rather than spending the extra money from my check partying or getting drunk with the white people downtown, I have recommitted myself to my dreams and ideals that brought me to DC in the first place and I see what I need to do to improve myself and my new community.
A Little Something to Make You Feel Grateful