History in the Making: Obama in Cairo

Obama ReutersHe does it every time, our president. He takes whatever troublesome bull is before him by the horns and refuses to let go. I caught the first half of his Cairo speech today, awed by its forthright magnificence and sheer ballsiness. Rachel Maddow has been going on about he grabbed the third rail, tallying eight third rails  in this single speech. I need to catch the rest of it.

The line that resonated strongly with me was this gem: “But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors.  There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground.  As the Holy Koran tells us, ‘Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.’  [Applause.]  That is what I will try to do today –– to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.” That admonishment tracks beautifully to us as individuals and how we can be in our own relationships with others, no matter how cursory or intimate or global.

As I was listening  (while ironing my ensemble for the day, if you must know), the thought prickled at me that this could very well be President Obama’s Nixon-in-China watershed moment. Set aside the bold statements about Israel and Iran and extremists, etc.; it was his mastery of nuance and utter comfort in gray areas that also impressed me. He is blessed with an uncanny ability to weigh both sides (or even multiple sides) of an issue and then carve out the true line between.

I keep reverting to the utilitarian slangy metaphor “He blew me away”; unlike the president, I’m at a loss in devising a more eloquent translation of that particular sentiment. Bottom line: I  love our president and his audacity –– it’s our great hope. But remember, each of us can go there ourselves. “So come on, people, now / smile on each other / everybody get together, got to love one another right now” (Okay, I have NO idea where that came from — wait, I mean, I know the song, but I wasn’t expecting that to pop up, but it does sort of fit!).

May God’s peace be upon us, each and every one!

0 Responses to “History in the Making: Obama in Cairo”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: