“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
These are the words spoken by Barack Obama on Jan. 20 as he took the oath in front of millions of people around the world. They are also the words that many U.S. citizens spoke. The Huffington Post, an online newspaper, put out a call for videos of citizens around the country taking an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Actually that is the way it should be according to the Post. “Barack Obama is not the only one being inaugurated. We all are.” The statement goes on to say that it is time that we stop waiting on others to solve the problems and right the wrongs.
How true this is. This government and this country belong to each of us and it is the responsibility of each citizen to preserve, protect and defend our constitution. If something is not working it is our responsibility to do what we can to correct that.
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That means writing to our elected officials, educating ourselves and holding those in office accountable. It means taking action to preserve our planet, to become involved in local government, and to take an active role in fixing what is broken in so many areas.
Many believe this is a new start. With 11 wars and many conflicts (wikipedia.org) going on right now; the economy in critical condition; serious health care and education issues and world hunger to mention only a few concerns this administration has on its plate, one wonders where we will be in two years or 10 years.
But many are hopeful that things will begin to turn around, that healing will begin. Surely it will take years before we see solutions that hold. It will take years and the dedication of many including each of us.
There is always hope. Who among us believed that in our lifetime we would see an African-American person sworn in as president of these United States? Who believed we could put a man on the moon? Who believed we could find cures for so many diseases now no longer a problem?
Does seeing Obama taking the oath end the problems of racism in our country? Of course not. Is it a step in the right direction? Of course. And if each day each of us took steps in the right direction, over time we would pass on to our children a better place to live.
This is the hope we must never abandon. Once we give up hope, we have nothing left. Once we abandon the hope that integrity, honesty and peace can triumph we might as well hang it up and give up. There is always hope in our own lives and in the future of this country and of this planet. There is always hope that mankind will choose peace instead of war. If only we could all awaken.
It is truly up to us. It is up to each of us to take the oath and then to live consistent with that oath.
Mary Friedel-Hunt, freelance writer, publisher and a licensed clinical social worker, has been a psychotherapist for 32 years. You may contact her by writing to: P.O. Box 189, Lone Rock, WI. 53556.