January 15, 2009
First I want to thank God for this victory and that the upcoming 1st Black US president inauguration is happening during my lifetime (and as Yoruba people are apt to say, “O shoju mi “It means” I witnessed it”). It is a pity Mr. Irving Wallace is not life to witness this inauguration but at least those of us who read his book about a black president can say with some guilt now that he knew what he was talking about!
Years later some of us may not remember where we were when Obama won the election and where we would be during the inauguration but it doesn’t matter. What matters, is what his ascendant to the most powerful office in the United States of America (and may be the world) means to you and your children and even generations to come
Let’s be honest none of us can accurate predict with any instrument or metal physical powers what life has in store for us, what it will dish to us and like the solider in Forrest Gump said in the movie; “Life is like a box of chocolate, you never can tell which one you are going to get “, So his Dad ran away (like a lot of black fathers do in the US), he ended up with an Indonesian step-father and all the baggage that came with being a half caste – You like a bat:- neither a bird or mammal; A lot of half caste suffer identity crisis in the US…
Many things would happen to you that don’t like but then life is full of strange things but the good news and lesson from the Obama victory is where you start doesn’t matter but how well you finish matters and as such it is important to always have it in the back of our minds that we should always be focused on where we are going to, we should not let people’s fear, reservation, criticism or refusal of us stop us from aiming high and going for our dreams. Your future is not in their hands, though many people as if they do….(it never has)
Yes, it’s has never been done before does not mean you cannot be the first person to start it. Speak your truth gently, as much as possible do right by people, walk the straight and narrow, for you do not know when you will be called to a higher office. Imagine if Obama had a shady or doggy past (trust me the contenders for the exalted position have searched and are still searching, they just have not found anything incriminating, that is why they have not pounced on him yet!) So my advice (including to myself) KEEP YOUR NOSE CLEAN!
Interesting most of us have reached that prime age when we get to start taking key positions in life, either as a team leader, manager, CEO, head of a Church or Muslim group, a commissioner, minister or the head of a delegation. Whatever position you aspire to , it is well within your grasp, you are endowed far more than you know.
Keep your network fresh, call an old friend, forgive people that say and do nasty things to you. To be honest you are higher than them. Imagine what would have happened if Obama reacted to the hate slurs or race baiting taking place at those John McCain or Sarah Palin campaigns rallies?……. But he knew better, he has a high calling, a bigger assignment to unite and not divide people.
Learn whatever you can from this Obama experience, for me I concluded that it pays to be diligent; it’s nice to keep a positive posture about yourself not only for now but in the future. That tough condition is not permanent.
In order to win sometimes, you would have call on everything you got, your skills both ones that are relevant and those that are not so relevant; the ones that your friend sniggered about (After all how would Obama have known that people would fall in love with his Basketball skills, for one, it got him a Wife: - or so said his brother in law in a recent article in Times Magazine and it has been reconfirmed in this interview conducted by Le Monde in 1996 – Please do read the interview, it tells you some things about how Obama views family institution)
Though I did not vote but I followed every bit of the US election and I can say it pleasure, I enjoyed every bit of the process, it tells me that we as a country (Nigeria) has a long way to go but that hope is not lost. Even though I would not be able to make the inauguration, I am rooting for Obama. Am sure if you are reading this article then you are most likely a fan of his too! We can make giant stride in our small corner of this world like Obama has done for himself. I know we can. YES WE CAN.
Wishing you and your fellow Obama fans happy inauguration!
Suleiman Shaibu (Xman)