A bride is standing at the door to step into the chapel to be married, and she says to her mother “Oh, Mom! This is so wonderful! I’m at the end of all my troubles!” Her mother says “Yes, dear, but not at the end you think.”
Something I have been concerned about in the massive upswell of support for the candidacy of President-elect Obama, it has been that the expectations for what he will do have been set quite high. His repeated slogans have been about change, and about “Yes, we can,” and it has been less than clear to me that his supporters have understood how much of the work of making that change falls to them to accomplish. I have seen a number of people saying “Yes, we did,” which sounds a lot like they think the election of Sen. Obama is the accomplishment. Sen. Obama disagrees with this notion in his victory speech. Quoting from it:
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.
This is the beginning of the Obama change. His claims and promises have been very ambitious, and will require an immense amount of work over a long period of time from a very large number of people to even make them likely, to say nothing of actually making them happen. The work of electing a presidential candidate is a small fraction of what the new challenge demands.
So if you think your work to support Pres. Obama’s change is at its end, I can assure you that it is.
But not the end you think. The real work hasn’t even begun yet.