Monday, November 3, 2008

The Opportunity

I sent this note to my cousin the other day. Because he's undecided. Because he's 22. Because he's creative. Because he's fundamentally kind and generous and thoughtful. And because I love him and want him to share my excitement...

I don't like the idea of voting for an old man. Not unless his eyes sparkle with youthful ideas.

I want to vote for love and generosity and curiosity and open mindedness. The stuff of the young and inspired.

Battlescars aren't wisdom unless they teach change. Attachment to the status quo is despair. Yearning for a happier yesterday is helplessness. Conservatism is admitting that we can't be any better than what we are now or what we were then.

And, even if that is true - if there are limits, and we've hit them - I say we bite, smash, and hammer away at them anyway. Because it's more fun to hope than to hoard and hide and isolate.

Because if we can't do with a smile on our face, if we can't do it with love in our heart, then, children, we ain't got no right to do it at all.

We're supposed to be some kind of different.

And I think there's a chance that Barack Obama is some kind of different.

The More Perfect Union speech was beautiful. The tire gauges were, silly as they sounded,quite possibly the most reasonable energy policy idea the US government has had in long time. The man is cool under pressure. He's thoughtful and knowledgeable. He's curious. His wife is a superstar: absolutely rightfully unsatisfied with this country and working to make it better.

Warren Buffet and Colin Powell and Fred Wilson and Marc Andreessen and Eric Schmidt and James Fallows and Oprah all believe in him. Smart people. Reasonable people. Innovative people.

So we'll see.

If Obama's not different, if he's nothing but an actor, bummer. But we'll move on. We'll save the world despite the US government. We'll clean up its mess. Tirelessly. We'll make it irrelevant. We'll do all its work for it. With philanthropy. With sustainable business. With literature. With poetry. With simple acts of kindness and love.

And without fear.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't vote. It doesn't mean we shouldn't hope. It doesn't mean we shouldn't take this opportunity to support the candidate that inspires musical genius.

Peace. Love.

Posted by email from Radical Transparency (posterous)


Danny Shapiro said...

Good post, Jakenstein.

Jake de Grazia said...

Thank you Danny. Now if only I could figure out why this commenting is happening using the Blogger comments and not on Disqus. Must have something to do with the fact that I posted from email and through Posterous. Hmmm...