A few months ago, I stumbled upon a documentary of Sargent Shriver. What struck me most – aside from the sheer number of lives he touched, the vast number of lives he improved – was that he saw problems and fixed them.
When did we lose that?
When did we lose sight of the goals, the point of the United States? When did we stop believing in ourselves and in our abilites to work toward a goal? When did we start settling for the way things are instead of the way things should be?
Yesterday, I talked to some educators and administrators about a new program here. I told them about the need to let us innovate – but to support us even when we make mistakes. I told them how bureauracracy must serve the goals of our organization, not the other way around. I told them that we could no longer accept “that’s just the way things are.” We must realize, I told them, there is only the way you and I are doing things right now, and that is in our power to change at any moment.
Yesterday, I told a co-worker that racist jokes are not okay. Yesterday, I stood that ground even as another co-worker tried to tell me to “lighten up”. Yesterday.
Yesterday, I ignored the talking heads, the commentators and analyists. I half-heard some of the speeches, and only reluctantly allowed myself to be drug into the room for Sen. Obama’s speech. Yesterday I heard a man committed to goals – real goals – instead of being committed to ideology. I heard a man committed to solutions instead of positions. Yesterday, I heard a man be more gracious to those who oppose him than they have been to him.
So I remember yesterday.
And I think about what we can do today.