Today is Martin Luther King Day. It is a day when we not only remember the legacy of MLK, but it is also a day when we remember that there is still work to do to make this a truly just world. Tomorrow Barak Obama will be inanugrated as the first African American president. Yes, it is monumentally historic, but our collective work is not done, yet. Today and tomorrow are about hope, as much as they are about the results of a dream.
While I am realistic about the challenges that we face as a nation, I am hopeful, though. I am hopeful because, regardless of the speed or results of the changes, we may once again be a country based on values that I share. One of those values is equal opportunity. For many non-white people, they look at president-elect Obama and see that it is possible, with effort, to reach their goals.
My daughter, who is nine, does look at others who serve as role models for who she can become. She does not, however, look to president-elect Obama as one such model. Perhaps, it is because she does not see herself in him or, perhaps, it is because she is nine. In any case, she is not interested in watching coverage of the inauguration on TV.
Being nine, my daughter loves to watch shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on TV, which we discovered last summer. While watching the show she discovered that, like her, Ty Pennington, host of the show, has AD/HD. Last night, though, while we were watching it for the first time since summer, she said, “You know mom, he has AD/HD.”
As I looked at her, I could see that she saw herself in Ty Pennington. I wondered what she was thinking.
Maybe, it was something like, “Yes, I can.”
He may not be the president-elect, but if he gives her hope, that works for me.