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But for a brief moment last night, I was reminded of the possibility of coming together , of the strength of humanity as a whole and the strength we find in each other.

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Existing, working and thriving online means sometimes we forget what it is like to interact with people outside of our own worlds. And yet, attending President Obama's farewell speech emphasized what we know deep down but maybe are too afraid to wrestle with in real life: that people are capable if we give them the chance to live within the best of their humanity.

Letters: The audacity of hope and the power of dreams | US news | The Guardian

That was the thing that surprised me the most last night. Hope still exists in many. I saw celebrities Chris Tucker, Jussie Smollett. I saw coworkers and old classmates and friends. Mostly, I saw strangers, happy ones. There was an ease and warmth to the room and the crowd.

People were excited and joyful, if not a little naive. I expected mourning, but instead I found people resilient in their optimism. I began to feel the same, for the first time in months. Nothing can match the exhilaration of , but I felt a small piece of that energy, simply by observing the faces around me. Bearing witness to the humanity of your fellow man makes the next day seem possible. President Obama is a symbolic figure, not a perfect or fully realized one. He represents hope, that intangible idea he first campaigned on, that thing that many rely on when it seems everything—the government, educational and social systems, next door neighbors—is working against them.

Despite the changing political tide, the people here still navigate with hope, believing something—anything—can change. Here, in this big city, I see young and old, rich and poor, black and white co-existing, trusting, and believing in a united country.

The Audacity Of Hope Summary

Families of all varieties flowed in abundance throughout the crowd, especially mothers of all ages and their daughters. Middle-aged black women peppered the crowd sporting quirky Obama designs like screen-printed t-shirts or black and white skull caps. A white breastfeeding mother walked calmly through the press area with her young child in both arms and her camera strapped across her shoulder. A wheelchair-bound, elderly black woman was a crowd favorite, with many, even at the end of the night, asking for a photo with her.

In her lap was a framed photo of the president. She cradled it in her hands like a proud mother basking in the glow and accomplishments of her child. That feeling rang true for some throughout the night. For despite his faults, in the end, President Obama has meant something to many.

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These are likely people from my city, Chicago, a place that perhaps thrives only by hiding the nastiest, ugliest parts of itself. Here, they were united under the tutelage of one man and one legacy. But outside these doors, I wondered if that same camaraderie could carry. That change took him to an audience with the President and was singled out by him. That was powerful. A lot of people missed it. The President was telling us Jamaicans that our energy sources was sitting in front of him and can be found within the streets, valleys and mountains of Jamaica and they are different as the days of the week.

Some are poor, some are wealthy, some are religious, some are Rastafarian, some are atheist, some are white, some are Chinese, some are Indian, some are black , some are disabled, some are old, some are heterosexuals, some are gay. But change is often a drink that is taken as a bitter potion. We often see change as the critics have always imagined it — a disruption of the status quo. Obama wrote.. Or maybe the trivialization of politics has reached a point of no return, so that most people see it as just one more diversion, a sport, with politicians our paunch-bellied gladiators.. That is a remedy for destruction. We keep putting the same remedy of the sore and wonder why the sore is not getting any better. Obama challenged the youth leaders telling them to be audacious and change the status quo. Jamaican have to reach a point where their politics reach a balance of idealism and reality and according to him..

Youth leaders must accept this challenge and start to change the minds of our people.

The paunch-bellied men have done their part, now its their turn. Change is a process. It starts often times at the bottom of the valley but it leads most times to the top of the mountain top. But the process must begin and it must begin now! The President challenged us to have the audacity to accept that hope is everywhere, the answers are staring us in the face, it is for us to remove the veil of politics and see reality and our reality is our destiny. It is for us to remove ourselves from our cultural, religious and social differences and work together for change.

From the Archives: Watch Obama's 2004 Speech at DNC

Change must be our theme, our guiding light as it is in the darkness of our differences that our prosperity is hiding. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. He stood steadfast in that belief. These two afflictions remain a pariah on our national development and the urgency to free our minds and look to the fast emerging future is still a very big challenge here.