This morning I woke up with so much inspiration and energy. Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” was playing on my inner iPod!
I felt like I did when I woke up on November 5, 2009, the day after we elected President Barack H. Obama to serve as the leader of the United States of America. What a great feeling! America is making history once again by ensuring all Americans have access to good healthcare. To learn more about what’s in the healthcare legislation, visit Whitehouse.gov’s blog: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/03/23/whats-health-care-bill.
Last night I watched the Whitehouse.gov video of my President signing the healthcare legislation. What a historical moment! It was huge! Click here to watch the video and read my President’s remarks. See an excerpt of my favorite part of his remarks below.
“Our presence here today is remarkable and improbable. With all the punditry, all of the lobbying, all of the game-playing that passes for governing in Washington, it’s been easy at times to doubt our ability to do such a big thing, such a complicated thing; to wonder if there are limits to what we, as a people, can still achieve. It’s easy to succumb to the sense of cynicism about what’s possible in this country.
But today, we are affirming that essential truth -– a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself –- that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations. (Applause.) We are not a nation that falls prey to doubt or mistrust. We don’t fall prey to fear. We are not a nation that does what’s easy. That’s not who we are. That’s not how we got here.
We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities. We are a nation that does what is hard. What is necessary. What is right. Here, in this country, we shape our own destiny. That is what we do. That is who we are. That is what makes us the United States of America.
And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care. And it is an extraordinary achievement that has happened because of all of you and all the advocates all across the country.”
I know the healthcare legislation is not perfect. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure universal coverage for everyone and funding for women to have access to federally-funded abortions. We still have to overcome challenges and kinks that come with new legislation. More change is sure to come. However, we are much better off than we were without healthcare reform. We have something to work with. We have a foundation to move forward. And I am fired up and ready to go! Are you?
What do you think about the healthcare reform legislation?
Enjoy your day and week!
Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for Healthcare Reform and President Obama,
PS: My new book That Which Awakens Me (available on Amazon.com) includes a chapter that discusses my reflections on President Obama’s campaign and election. Here is an excerpt from the chapter. Enjoy!
The Night Barack Was Elected
Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke
Inspired by E. Ethelbert Miller’s City as Memory: Lyrical
City Writing Workshop held at Busboys and Poets on May
Election night was unseasonably warm in D.C.
Rain sprinkled the pavement as I walked down U Street with
a group of friends.
We wanted to go to Busboys and Poets, but the line was too
long to get in.
So we walked up to 12th Street and parked ourselves around a
table at The Islander, a Caribbean restaurant.
It was filled with Obama supporters.
Everyone was excited.
You could feel the need for great change in the air.
Before the waitress took our group’s order, she gave us Barack
buttons her daughter made.
They were designed with a small picture of his face surrounded
by Caribbean flags.
It was one-of-a-kind election memorabilia.
After we placed our orders, we began monitoring the election
results posted on the television screen.
By the time our dinner entrees arrived, my stomach was filled
It made it difficult to enjoy my plantains, spicy fish, cabbage,
and peas and rice.
Flashbacks from the 2000 Presidential election kept popping
up in my mind.
It was post-traumatic Bush stress order.
When dinner was over, I decided I couldn’t take watching the
results as they poured in each hour.
So I said my goodbyes and walked home.
I made a pit stop at Love Café and purchased a cupcake to
celebrate Barack’s win.
It was my way of positively affirming America had changed.
I also wanted to kick the post-traumatic Bush stress order out
of my brain.
During the first couple of hours I was home, I practiced yoga,
meditated, and watched “Young and the Restless” online.
After the show ended, I decided to check CNN.com for
That’s when I started to get excited.
Barack was leading the race.
Then it happened.
He won, but I didn’t trust the results.
So I called my mother to confirm the news.
When I heard her say that Barack was headed to Grant Park to
give his acceptance speech, I knew the news was true.
I screamed so loud, “Yes We Can,” into the phone.
My excitement continued to build as I ate my Love Café
election cupcake, watched CNN.com for news updates,
and listened to the crowd of people celebrate outside of my
apartment on U Street.
I knew I had to join the party.
So I got dressed and walked out into the biggest celebration I
had ever seen.
Folks of all ages and ethnicities were smiling, crying, singing,
and dancing together.
It was surreal.
We had become the United States of America and made new