Where were you when Barack Obama became President?

January 20, 2009


I will be at a meeting checking to see if it will finish early enough for us to get to a TV screen to watch the momentous occasion. The meeting is necessary and at the same time routine. Obama’s inauguration is necessary and a unique event.

The suspension of disbelief

Drama and creativity work because they help us suspend disbelief. That is why they work so well together. Each dramatic performance involves its own kind of creative encounter. Hope is not just audacious, as Obama wrote in his biography. Hope is indivisible. It exists or it vanishes.

But the emotional deal is this. Hope does not persist, it needs to be renewed. Great leaders find ways of reminding us of that. And, as usual, great poets also find ways. Alexander Pope wrote as few lines nearly three hundred years ago that are worth remembering today.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

So today let there be hope unconfined.


The image of hope by Randy Wang comes from a brilliant website which invites contributions to a good cause. It seems an appropriate day, somehow, to donate to it. If you have enjoyed Randy’s picture, please consider supporting an innovative education project led by Randy and others, for the poorest children of rural India