Monday, November 17, 2008

An important letter...

I received this letter in my e-mail today from a good friend. Thank you, Bev:

Read and enjoy!

Alice Walker's Letter to President-elect Obama.
Posted By Waylon Lewis On November 6, 2008 (12:31 pm) In active citizenship, blog

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate.

One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.
In Peace and Joy,
Article taken from elephant journal -
URL to article:

And I have to say something myself. He's the first president-elect to call his interviewer casually (Steve Croft on 60 Minutes last night), "man."

"I don't tell my mother-in-law what to do, man."

Isn't it uplifting and joyous to hear this sympathetic, well-educated, tolerant, laid back YOUNG man using this informal, playful term easily and in such a friendly way.

All I can say is "Man, I'm glad we elected him President!"




Raven said...

Amen. I'm glad too. Good letter. I've had it in my inbox but not gotten around to reading it. There is something so generous and grounded about Obama. It does my heart good.

EG CameraGirl said...

I saw the interview last night too and was extremely impressed with his answers and his manner.

Jim said...

I missed it. Mr. Obama has all the makings of a very good president. We should all stand behind him, even us die-hard Clinton supporters. :-)

I like your turkey header, nice and soft. Who would want to eat a turkey anyway? I had chicken Sunday at church, there was also turkey.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

go obama go go

Putz said...

do you know what i am expecting from this man in a word everthing, but in my hear i just hope he does what jfk did before someone, well you know, people in utar say hey he won't last a year, someone has a bullet for him, but that is just in utar , hardley anyone really thinks like that except the real ignoran...hey have you heard i am moving to BOSTON...

Putz said...

that was in my HEART I HOPE, i was fighting a damned utah fly while typing on my computer when i made that mistake...sorry

Dianne said...

Oh 'Man' - I'm beyond glad.

What a wonderful letter ... Made me cry a bit, the first 2 paragraphs. The relay runners who came before him.

I love to listen to him talk. How he wants to take a walk. Just a regular walk. Take Michelle on a date.

How she wants the White House to be happy for the girls and the dog will have to wait until they're settled.

Genuine people in the White House Mary. Who woulda thunk ;)

Anonymous said...

What beautiful, thought-provoking words. I hope he reads them.

Lori Skoog said...

Thank you for posting this letter. I am one of many who has great respect for our new president elect and hope he can win over some of the nasty people out there who have not even given him a chance. To think that a group at a Maine country store have a pool to see what day he will be assassinated is one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard. This great man does not deserve these horrendous comments.
He has such dignity!
Lori Skoog

sgreerpitt said...

I had not seen Alice Walker's letter, thanks for sharing it! Good advice for all of us.