I've studied the history of the civil war, World War II, and the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. This inauguration has to rank among those great and paradigm-shifting events.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true.
They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I can't let the day go by without pointing to the full text of President Obama's brilliant inauguration speech on CNN, and quoting a few of his lines that may have some resonance for those of us working with new tools in the workforce.