"At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds. What we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together."
President Obama, Speech at U.A. (1-12-2011
Last night I saw the President give an extraordinary speech here in Tucson, with an astonishing 20,000 people turning out to hear it, that called for peace, reconciliation, and reason. I read some cynical journalist comment that "it was mostly college students" - I respond, so very good to see that. They are the ones inheriting the future. He concluded by talking about the young girl (born on 9/11 and included in the book "Babies of Hope") who died - grieving for her and her parents, and making a plea for a better world for all children. He was never more eloquent, and I felt that this speech, and the extraordinary international response to this violence, ended with a important message for our world. I also was delighted to see a Yaqui elder call on the Directions for healing and balance, honoring the first Americans, and cultural diversity.
On a trajectory, I've seen the recent movie "The Kings Speech" twice, and love it. Seeing this story of George the 6th, who was a stutterer, struggling to serve his people with speeches that were so very difficult for him to perform on the terrifying brink of WWII, I never before understood the significance of the Royalty as the "voice of the people" in England. There are scenes in that movie that will make you cry. I understood the same thing last night when President Obama spoke.