I just read Obama's speech in it's entirety- I was on my way to work, listening on the radio, and this one part of the speech, brought tears to my eyes because it is so right on:
"To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it."
There are so many people that don't think about anyone else but themselves, or their group of family and friends, their church, their job, etc. The world is such a big place and we have, as a nation, such a huge impact on the world - economically, environmentally, socially. Our bad decisions, our choices to lead lives of excess - all has an impact on the world.
I was driving home from work on Monday night and this truck had a sticker on it that said "I love my carbon footprint." This is just one of many mindsets that need to change. It is NOT OK to pollute the earth because you can only see as far as your lifetime and maybe your children's. It's not ok to unquestionably support politicians that have allowed the mess on Wall Street to happen because they turned a blind eye to the possible consequences of de-regulation and lack of oversight. It's not ok because now the global economy is in recession. We have dragged millions of others down with us. It's not just us. It's not a matter of "patriotism" to consider only your country first, it's a matter of irresponsibility not to consider those outside our borders.
You're probably wondering why I wasn't riled up like this yesterday. Listening to the speech on the radio, I didn't get the full impact, and I was riding the high of having a new President sworn in after 8 years of failure (well, ok, maybe 6 years, Dubya wasn't so bad the first 2 years - not until he got us into the Iraq mess - it was then that I knew we were royally... how do you say... f*cked?). No more happy high today.
Anyway, so, my hope is that, as Americans, we will begin/continue to think outside our circle of friends and family, myself included (don't get me wrong - I may be choosing to live more "green" than in the past, but there's a heck of a lot more I can do, community service-wise).
I'll get off my soap-box now (it's been a while since I stepped up on it, so, bear with me, if you would).
Oh, and I faced the music this morning - with clothes on - no shoes - 119. Highest ever for me, but at least it's under 120.