Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stepping out of the closet... for Barack Obama

My first title was just "Stepping out of the closet" which I thought would be catchy and provocative. On further thought however, I decided to add the latter part, as there was also a danger that some might not read further than the title and proverbially judge a book by its cover. No offence intended to those who are in/out of the closet in the narrower sense of the word. I'm quite open-minded and I don't judge any one by how they like their eggs.

So back to the topic, yes, Barack Obama.  Finally writing that makes me question whether I shouldn't just retreat back into the closet. You see Obama is undeniably the biggest news story of 2008, a historic candidate for POTUS, an inspirational story of achievement, and a potential 'leader of the free world'. Let's not forget that as a Kenyan I share some heritage with him (sarcastically: heck I could be his cousin!). These circumstances should require... no ... demand that I spend a respectable amount of time talking, writing, and discussing Obama. 

However, when in presence of others I have done the exact opposite. I avoid blogging about, invoking, or referencing Obama, I extract myself from conversations which bring him up, I change the channel when he comes on TV; all in the pursuit of an outwardly nonchalance about him. However in my 'closet', I voraciously read news stories about him on NY Times, CNN, and occasionally, Fox News, I wake up at 1 am to watch Situation Room on CNN, I have read Dreams From My Father, I contemplate his story and wonder, if I could be as dedicated and inspirational in the pursuit of my dreams. 

Why the charade you may ask? 

Well upto this point, I have - like many others - fallen into the false belief that "whether he is elected as POTUS or not, it won't add any sufurias of ugali in my house" In short, it doesn't matter to me. 

I'm coming to doubt that notion, and I think it does matter to me and that's why I'm stepping out of my closet today, waving my Obama 08 flag proudly. I now believe that whether or not Obama is eventually elected, his quest for the most powerful office in the world has profoundly shaped the course I'll pursue to fulfill my own dreams. If I would be so corny as to use two proverbs in one post, his case is one where its the journey and not the destination that matters. Of course, if he is eventually elected, it will add more weight to his story's influence on millions of people, but as is, Obama has inspired me to see and believe that I can be much much more.

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