Triumph of Humanity!

Like millions of others, I was gravitated to the TV set on the evening of Election Day. Watching election result roll in was an emotional process. As the evening progressed and the vote counts were called out in chunks, my anxiety dwindled gradually. When the electoral votes reached the 207 and 138 ratios, I became cautiously optimistic. At the next call out, it advanced significantly to the watershed, NBC announced 284 electoral votes for Obama….. Finally, “Barack Obama is elected 44th president of the United States in a landslide victory……”

It is a sweet victory indeed, especially for people like me who are strong supporters of Obama for president. We not only cast our votes for Obama, but also donated to the campaign, volunteered for the campaign registering voter, knocking on doors canvassing and knocking on doors to get the votes out on Election Day. And collectively we did it. It is exceedingly gratifying to see the fruition of one’s labor come to such a grand historic magnitude.

Among all the forces behind the success, I see the power of democracy, a brilliantly run campaign and a remarkable candidate with great charisma and extraordinary message that inspires, but what strike me the most are the millions of supporters and voters who were able to break through partisan, religious and racial barriers to come to the common good and justice for our country. There are still a lot of those who are bounded by prejudice and racism but there are enough of us to make a difference this time. It is the epiphany of this noble humanity at its historic proportion that gives me hope and makes me proud again.

Obama being the first black president in our national history is not a panacea but it is an opportunity to correct mistakes from the past and move the country back to the right track. And it can bring about profoundly positive repercussion beyond the black community. In this new chapter of history we can start writing today, I see an unprivileged person liberated and aspired to reach his or her better potential, I see a privileged person enlightened and inspired to eradicate prejudice and racism. Our world becomes better one person at a time.

“America is the beacon of hope” was imprinted in my mind when my friend Feihong, who married a Japanese man and now lives in Japan, called to say congratulations on Obama’s winning the presidency. She sounded excited and exuberant: “I am so happy for you. It is emblematic of your democracy. I am very much proud of you all. I am now eager to see your country in person. I’ll come visit you the first chance I get.” She made my day because when shared, happiness is augmented and burden lessened.

A powerful but selfish and arrogant America was despised. Let’s go back to being a powerful and yet respectful America.

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