Gabby Opened Her Eyes Today: A Metaphor Worth Embracing?
Yesterday at the University of Arizona President Barack Obama delivered an address to talk to the nation about this tragedy and in the midst of that conversation he offered a real sign of hope and answered prayers when he shared with the audience that " Gabby opened her eyes for the first time " and elicited a rousing and emotional response from the enraptured audience. I have shared the clip here and I invite you to not only view it but to also experience its power.
Yet even as we pray and dare to hope for a recovery we do not completely understand, there are still great and fractured divides in this country and as much as the political tone I thought would take pause and find some way to come together to focus on real issues and a real opportunity for real commonality, I was naïve in that thinking as the temperature continues to become elevated while the discourse skyrockets out of control. At some very real and human level I am both deeply offended and sadly confused.
I am a political animal by nature, and much to my own demise at times I have allowed the activist that is all too prominent in my soul to control my actions, and sometimes that activist has been too reactionary and not thoughtful enough, I'll own that up front, but as I continue to watch with despair as the political divide becomes Grand Canyon-like in its differences I am not completely without hope.
Gabby opened her eyes today, the President told us, and I immediately thought when will we open our eyes? I believe the metaphor should not be lost on us at a time when every single step we collectively take matters deeply to every person's future. Opening our eyes to some realities is an idea that is long overdue. If we are to succeed as a nation; if we are to begin to heal the wounds that have become a political cancer in this country, the time to open our eyes in now.
The President spoke of believing, in hope, in the higher idea of what America means but for the jaded these words may ring hollow, but to those of us, the vast majority of us, the idea of rising to meet the challenges that our past has forced on upon our present requires an uncommon desire to seek the change we want. In the highest reaches of leadership this is a critical juncture and this journey will be defined and remembered by all of us not by who won the argument but by who created a new paradigm to close the gap between what we knew to be right and by what we finally refused to listen to and support. I beg you all to realize that the power in the words, she opened her eyes, is a profound message that was sent to us as an example of what we now must do.
When you are a messenger, as I am and as are each of you, you have a responsibility to a truth that is greater than our personal political ideologies. The idea of winning or losing has never bees less important than it is today because and until we surrender to what we all deeply know to be the humane thing to do and until we begin to have a dialogue that transcends the importance of what we personally believe to hold true, we will not be able to create a world, no matter how idealistic, that must be created to meet the challenges of our increasingly changing times.
America, ladies and gentlemen, is no longer the final authority of what a realized life means. We must wake up to the realities that we are not meeting global awareness of their potential, and instead of feeling threatened by these challenges we should open our eyes to the indisputable fact that greatness is confined to the USA only.
There are too many truths that we have allowed to be conveniently ignored for way too long and a simple Blog posting will not change the world as we know it nor will it change the political climate in this country that is hell bent on point of view instead of point of fact but we have to start somewhere is this is what I can personally do.
Evil will always exist and we would be wrong to think we can eradicate it completely, but that doesn't mean that if we open our eyes and start to lead by living with higher awareness and a more tolerant and accepting life, and I am suggesting if we can personally adopt that simple concept and apply it to the way we live from this point forward, we will create a world where evil is more obvious and our ability to see it and stop it is easier.
Gabby opened her eyes and that brings hope. I'm now asking all of you to do the same. We may be astounded by what happens if we do that"if.
Jan. 13, 2011