The Common Good

'Yes, We Did' - But What Will We Do Now?

As I layered my clothing and stepped out into the biting pre-dawn chill, and as my friends and I walked the three miles down to the Mall and stood for hours feeling our toes go numb, I found it all a fitting way to inaugurate both Barack Obama and ourselves as citizens of a nation in need of motivation and change.

A beaming woman stood next to me in the bright winter sun on Tuesday, her face alive with the collective hopes of many. She murmured under her breath, "Jobs for everyone now, education for everyone now, no more wars, no more worries." My other neighbor for the day was Wuzdan, a Palestinian woman who has lived here for 45 years and voted for the first time in this election. She held her hands together tightly, swayed back and forth, and repeated the strain, "Peace, peace, peace all around." Their words struck me more as prayers to an almighty God than requests of a freshly sworn-in human being.

The dreams being placed upon the shoulders of our new leader are numerous, and the glimmer of change and progress are needed in many dark and long-unseen places. Bishop Robinson, in his prayer (unfortunately untelevized) at the "We Are One" concert, aptly asked God to:

Bless us with patience - and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be fixed anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Barack Obama, though an inspiring, courageous, and hard-working man, is still just a man. We must hear not only what we want to, but pay attention to his oft-used pronoun

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