Those three words are more powerful than I thought and now I realise why it became the heart of Obama’s campaign.
I must admit I was moved when I heard Obama’s speech the night he became president-elect. Moved by his words, but also equally by the reaction of the crowd. They were crying and I felt connected with them. I wondered when the Philippines would have a President for whom people will shed tears of joy and hope, instead of rage.
But back to America. Just watching the news and saw a feature on how Obama’s story and victory is impacting young Afro-Americans. A group of students were interviewed and based on their answers, you could tell that they were all fired up with hope and inspiration.
An 18-year old spoke of how hundred of years ago they were slaves, but today are equals.
Another one admitted how most of his peers who lost their way are now seeing the path before them more clearly.
A 19-year old mother now looks at her little boy in a different light: ‘He could be a president.’
That is so powerful. I felt the hair on my neck stand upon hearing that. Inspiring change, shifting perspectives, connecting not just with the cognitive but also the affective domain are hard goals to reach and measure.
Maybe Obama will succeed with his vision, maybe not. Maybe he’ll be a better U.S. president for the world, or maybe it will be ‘U.S. intervention as usual’ in many developing countries. Maybe he’ll live up to his promise to the American people, or maybe we’ll see a Republican in the White House in 2012. Whatever the outcome, I believe the hope he has rekindled in the hearts and minds of Afro-Americans has already taken root. I sincerely hope it will flourish and bear fruits to feed the dreams of more young people and their nation.