Monday, January 26, 2009

Change is Us

Jesús Iñiguez

So, Obama’s finally in the big house.

It was a relief to see the voting machines working properly during this last election process, and it was exciting – and surprising, honestly – to see that most votes were counted and accounted for. The American majority has spoken. On January 20, 2009, the entire world tuned in to hail the man who had changed the face of politics forever.

The world – as Americans know it – has started to show major fissures in its foundation. Seems like everything is imploding into itself and the collective paradigm is shifting and reaching for a greater good. Everyone is rushing to adapt with the times. The rest of the world is finally exhaling sighs of relief, patting Americans on the back as if saying, "Congratulations!! You’re finally catching up with the rest of us."

But I’ll be honest with you all. Personally, I’m not sure how confident I am in the incoming administration. Over the years, I’ve grown to be quite distrustful and suspicious of all politicians. I’m sure many of you have developed a similar attitude towards the major players in the political arena, who seem to only cater to corporate side deals that allow them to gain and eat their slice of the American pie. The notion of inclusion into a cultural melting pot has been put on the backburner, and we’ve all been simmering in the slow-rolling boil of exploitation.

But, I can’t deny the response that Obama has created amongst the masses of struggling working-class folks, the imaginations of young impressionable minds, and in the hearts of many hopeful souls. He has stepped up and revived hope in many individuals who have lost faith in their participation in democracy. His words and aspirations have inspired many to seek an opportunity for participation and discussion. And no matter where one stood on the political spectrum, "change" was the key word.

But, he can’t do it by himself.

I feel that we, as a nation/society, have finally truly taken the first step towards achieving change. Many folks are finally talking. About transformation and (r)evolution. They’re expressing their hopes, praying for strength, and working towards making amends. They’re connecting with each other across faiths, borderlines, color-lines, lifestyles, and political affiliations. The trauma of the past eight years, along with the multiple ongoing global catastrophes of today, has brought many of us together, encouraging a healing process. We’re beginning to understand that we’re all in this together.

The first and most difficult step has been taken. As a people, we’re no longer standing silent, fearful and hopeless. We have assumed responsibility for our voices and our votes. We have found it in ourselves to participate in a belief that we’ve been promoting and pushing onto the rest of the world. We have voted for change.

In order for us to alter our political reality, we must maintain our focus on preserving communication. It would be a disappointment to see people turn away from our newly elected president after having placed our collective anxieties, worries, and hopes on his shoulders, along with the expectation that the administration work out all the kinks and issues without our input. Though Obama has undoubtedly become synonymous with the will and optimism of the disenfranchised, he is not by any means our savior. Obama simply represents an ideal that we have all yearned to seize and dream for.

This is our time. We are now confronted with an opportunity to reconcile and rebuild. It’s time that we hold those who abused the public trust accountable for their misdeeds. It’s time that we speak louder and that we continue to stay involved in the happenings of our government. It’s time that we progress as participants in a democracy, that we strive for peace, and that we work towards resolving the many internal national conflicts.

It’s time that we evolve as human beings.

In the meantime, let’s maintain our channels of communication open. For 2009, I hope to see folks open themselves up to new possibilities.

Change is here. We just have to make it work for us. ¶

No comments: