It's the day after Inauguration Day, 2013. A joyous time for some. A sad time for others.
I was talking to some friends this weekend and they were so excited to share with me - and I'm sure many others - that they were heading to DC for the Inauguration events. This family has two beautiful young daughters and I could tell how thrilled they were for their future. It was a touching conversation and I appreciated their hope. I love hope. It is a spectacular thing.
And isn't that what this occasion is really all about? Hope. It is a time for the country to celebrate and recognize its elected leader. I wonder, though, if it's really fair for us as a collective people to pile our hope on a mere man, one person or even an administration. We are always looking for a leader, a king, a miracle worker, a savior to come along and fix all that ails us, but is that realistic?
It is an odd celebration though considering how divided our country is today. I have seen many elections come and go and have never felt my county so pulled in different directions. Maybe it's Facebook, Twitter and social media in general but the spewing of discontent is palatable. Maybe there is an answer hidden in all the rhetoric. Maybe the answer is bigger than any of us. Maybe we are simply part of something infinitely bigger and each of us needs to accept the small, but vital, role we are assigned.
I wish there wasn't so much deifying of the American President regardless of political party. Whoever is elected is just a person. Hopefully a person with exceptional abilities to rally a country and make important decisions and keep us safe from our enemies, but still just a flawed person like you and me. They are elected to humbly, thoughtfully and selflessly lead us. That's a tough enough job especially when we put them on such a high pedestal to fall from.
The streets of DC were no doubt filled with expectations yesterday and many of those were delusional. The celebrated POTUS is an earthly, elected official and, as an American citizen, I want him to succeed. Unfortunately, he will never be enough. Our natural yearning is for something more. It's nobody's fault. It's how we were wired. There's something bigger than all of us happening and we crave it. We always will.
The Inauguration was not the answer or the end. I hope, for a brief moment, it provided a little light to a dark, divided country. I am grateful for the flawed men and women that choose to serve this great country. We need leaders. More importantly, we need leaders that surrender to the idea that no one person, government or country is the center of it all, that there is something much bigger than any of us. THAT is where our true hope lies.