I was at a high school out in Brampton today, collecting footage of students' reaction to President Barack Obama's inauguration. Like most people watching this historic event unfold, I was left with a mixed sense of awe and fear as I watched the truest form of a multicultural and diverse man become the leader of the free world.
One of the girls I interviewed was a grade 12 student. She summed up her thoughts in a few words, voicing a concern that a lot of Canadians share, but are not willing to articulate openly. She said that as of 12:10 p.m. today, all of the American history textbooks became out of date. She also said that seeing this event marked in history made her look at Canada's own history and wonder what it would take for our nation to one day have its own coloured prime minister. If not coloured, then at least a prime minister who speaks to the masses rather than to one specific demographic.
During a day spent embedded in the media as I interned and news gathered at one of our country's leading broadcast stations, I found myself sharing in this sense of global pride. However, I couldn't seem to calm my nerves for this man, who now holds the dreams, hopes and futures of millions in his actions and duties. I worry not that the task at hand may be too great for him (because I believe he has the mirth and gusto to follow through with his promises) but that people are missing the point when it comes to his appointment. It's one thing that he is America's first black president. That in itself is an achievement and an historic event that no one can disregard. However, I think that idea has blindsided a lot of people who, before this moment, didn't pay too much attention to politics and government relations.
His vision is simple: he promises to be the best commander-in-chief and president to a group of willing and hopeful people who need to promise and work to bring change to themselves. Yet I can't help but sit here and wonder if a lot of people out there are expecting him to bring change to them, rather than working for it themselves.
I pray and hope that as I write this post on an important day that will forever be marked in history, that the new president of the United States of America and his family will be protected and kept safe throughout the rest of his term(s) and beyond that.