Thursday, January 13, 2011

On Civility and Personal Responsibility - Obama's Tucson Speech

In the wake of the tragic and absurd Arizona rampage, I'm grateful for Obama's inspiring speech:

In particular:
"Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together. (...)

So sudden loss causes us to look backward – but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we've shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others. That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions – that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. (...)

We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."

Read the full speech here.


  1. Beautiful speech, I agree. I'm so happy to have him as President. Alas, walking down my street in San Francisco today someone yelled out "Did you hear Obama's speech in Arizona"? I looked over and saw a booth set up with a sign Imbeach Obama! Shocking! Especially to see this here in SF, our most open minded city in the US. Really, it's sad what this world is coming to.

  2. I'm with you.. How surprising for SF indeed..
    I love that he's always taking the high road..


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