Welcome Back, Obama. Yes, We CAN Be Better.


Tragedy.  It shocks us into this very moment – which is truly all we ever have. This moment, right now.  When we find ourselves here, and now, we have Beginner’s Mind, a place of openness, without defenses or preconception.

Tragedy also has the power to bring out the best in us.  I recall those days after September 11th, walking around New York City and its citizens had one big pulsing heartbeat.  Unity was ubiquitous and kindness pervasive.

Listening to Obama’s Tucson speech this morning, I not only mourned for the lives lost and injured in Saturday’s shooting but also… I was filled with gratitude, humility, inspiration.  Here is the Obama that shines, who lifts us up and holds us to a higher standard.  He calls upon us to be better citizens ~ more compassionate and civil human beings.  I will heed his call.  I implore you to do the same.

With my beginner’s mind, I eagerly allow myself to be lifted up and carried.  To  intently carry and uplift, with all the resources and skills I have.

I will abide by my President’s words:  I will expand my moral imagination, I will use my words to heal and not to wound, I will align my priorities with my actions, and I will commit to forging an America that lives up to the expectations of our country’s children.

I will take responsibility for the immense privilege I have to call this great country my own.

Leave a comment


  1. Jill

     /  13 January 2011

    I saw the speech live last evening on TV. I was moved as well, and I too was thinking- he’s back. His ability to share the tragedy as well as celebrate the lives of these innocent Americans was the approach we all needed, and one we most certainly would not have heard from many leaders of our country in the past. My heart ached and soared for all the people touched by this senseless tragedy, none more than the young girl’s, whose life began during a tragedy and ended the same way. Let us all heal and not wound in word nor deed.

    • Kellie

       /  13 January 2011

      @Jill ~ I think it was his most moving and intelligent since the Race Speech in ’08. I find his words to have such a profound effect on me, regardless of what does and does not happen back in DC. His power is immense in these moments.

  2. Christopher

     /  14 January 2011

    I have been reminded of these words from one of my favorite authors: Mary Gordon
    “Blame is solid platform we can stand on, a still place in the whirlwind. It tells us: this happened because of that; it could have been avoided. Whereas the unbearable possibility is that nothing can be avoided, the wind bloweth where it listeth and becomes a whirlwind that takes everything up: indiscriminate, violent, incapable of turning or slowing down because of any human word”

    • Kellie

       /  14 January 2011

      @Christopher ~ Thank you for sharing her words – they make me see that I am still wanting to stand on a solid platform, that creating order from chaos is calming, that it brings some sense of peace. While I point my finger much less often these days, I am discovering that writing is my way of making sense of my life, of the world I live in. It is bringing new depths of understanding, and I think you would be proud of me for that. 🙂 xo


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