Tuesday, January 20, 2009

open letter to Barack Obama

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted you to know that I am very lucky. I have a job at a time when a lot of people, especially people in my industry, do not. I don't make a ton of money, but I just about pay my bills. I'm pretty healthy, and I live in a place I love and am deeply proud of, and I am surrounded by so many people who care about me that I am occasionally overcome with pleasant shock.

My point here is that I know people are asking a lot of you right now. They want, or maybe I should say expect, you to fix their lives, right their sinking ships, solve world crises and knit a sweater for their grandmothers. And while I don't blame them, since I've seen where they're coming from, I don't envy you what you have in front of you.

So there's just one thing I want to ask you for, and it's this: if there's anything that I can do for YOU and my government, I want you to let me know. I don't really have any money I can give you, but I have my time and my energy, and a short list of skills that may or may not be of use to you. You, Mr. President, have gotten me excited about the idea of a government that isn't a cold, distant, unilateral tyranny, but is instead a kind of club that we all belong to by default and may, for once, actually be involved in. I want you to use me, if you can; I want to be there for America.

My very best wishes to you.

Sincerely,

Me

41 comments:

Steve said...

And here's a Yiddish term of the day from me to you: Mensch!

fairyhedgehog said...

That's cool. I hope you start a trend.

Lisa said...

Well said. I have been thinking the same -- about so many people who are ready to be called on. Just tell us what we need to do and the millions that helped make this day possible are ready to pitch in. Great post Moony :) xo

Lifestyle Agent said...

Love this! Adds to the inspirational tone of the day.

Susan said...

What an inspiration: here's hoping it will spread!

Kim Lionetti said...

That is certainly one beautiful letter. God bless America!

JKB said...

Well said.

Miriam S.Forster said...

I'm getting all historical now...

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

"My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

"Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.

"With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."

~From the inaugural address pf John F. Kennedy. Friday, January 20, 1961

Stuart Neville said...

I can tell you that not just America but the whole bloody planet is wishing the new president all the best.

Janet Reid said...

You said it Moonrat!

Maureen McGowan said...

Good on you, Moonrat!

Kristan said...

Oh wow... That's just about as touching as his speech was today.

Ulysses said...

Mr. Obama is a remarkable man to have inspired such hope in a people that has endured eight years of cynical disappointment.

But not just hope: the urge to do something positive, to be part of the change and not just watch it come.

Would you in the United States mind if your northern neighbors borrowed him for just a bit? Couple of days, maybe a month, tops. A year at the outside.

Marcy said...

http://USAservice.org

AC said...

So eloquently put, Moonrat :)

moonrat said...

Marcy! Perfect!! Thank you.

Andromeda Romano-Lax said...

So glad you're back, Moonie. I volunteered at a Food Bank yesterday with kids and neighbors, and the volunteer organizer seemed amazed by the turnout. And it was fun! People are ready. And it's not a flash-in-the-pan thing -- ever since I attended the incredibly crowded Anchorage AK Democratic caucus nearly a year ago, I've been at events with record turnouts. Americans are more civically engaged than I've seen in my lifetime; blogs etc make it easy to forge new social connections. I could go on and on.

Here's the quote I'm thinking about today, which relates to volunteering, activism, writing, and anything else: "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"

The hard part, I think, is deciding where we should put our energies...

Stephen Parrish said...

Outstanding. Can I sign it too? Can everybody?

Tawna Fenske said...

Beautifully said!

pacatrue said...

The causes of the current economic downturn are enormously complex, but one of them is rather simple: The USA doesn't produce enough stuff anymore that other countries want to buy. Our trade deficit is enormous and contributes significantly to our overall debt levels. One thing you might do is keep an eye out particularly for works that will sell internationally. Since most books only sell a few thousand copies, it's not a cure, but every little bit helps.

Marie said...

I love the sentiment, and you aren't the only one who feels this way. There is a great deal of work to do.

moonrat said...

practical advice, Paca! You'll be happy to know Robert the Publisher agrees with you 100%.

Anna C. Morrison said...

This is definitely choosing hope over fear! Well said!

Crimogenic said...

Bravo Moonie, Bravo! I've never felt this sort of energy from presidents in the past (I've lived though only a few). It's amazing and I'm definitely on the boat to do what I can to help.

Pamala Knight said...

Well said, Moonie! You expressed the exact sentiments running through my head while watching the ceremony. Thanks for expressing it so eloquently.

Charles Gramlich said...

Well said.

Melanie Avila said...

I wish we could bottle the hope everyone is feeling. :)

Merry Monteleone said...

Hey Moonie,

I admire the sentiment and completely agree. I hope, though, that all of the people who have rallied and been inspired through our new president, remember that feeling. And take it upon themselves, to be that spark in their own communities regardless of who is leading us... because it's always our country and always our duty, regardless of the political climate.

Nice post, Moonie.

Susan Adrian said...

Oh, excellent post, Moonrat. YES.

magolla said...

Awesome letter, Moonie!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Yes. We're all in this together, as the great High School Musical taught us.

Did you see this - http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0116/p13s03-algn.html

A proposed Artist's Corps. I LOVE IT!!!

Ebony McKenna. said...

He does have that knack of inspiring people to want to help.

Good on you Moonie.

bunny said...

Me too, Mr. President.

Arjay said...

Fantastic letter! I'm told you can do anything from volunteering to turning off the lights early.

peggy said...

Beautiful letter, beautiful thoughts. I'm hopeing that everyones feelings, wanting to help stays alive. You did great posting and writing it.

C.M. Mayo said...

:)

Linda said...

I heart you. You're so... Kennedy-ian. Peace, Linda

renaissancetrophywife said...

Well said! I agree completely.

Reisa Stone said...

I'm Canadian. I love Obama and what is happening in America. I always knew you had it in you. What can I do for your country?

stephanie said...

Beautifully said.

writtenwyrdd said...

What a lovely sentiment! Maybe we should get up a 'petition' to send the man with your message.