Skip to content

I’m Not Terminally Cynical

February 6, 2008

Living in a country that is both over-politicised and bloated on religion, and working in the field of faith-based community development, I sometimes come away from conversations with colleagues feeling cynical and  not a little down.

Cynical about church leaders and preachers. Cynical about politicians and their promises.

Then I found this.

And I learned that my heart hasn’t shrivelled completely. I learned that I am still susceptible to to the poetry of fine rhetoric and a visionary orator. And even when a part of me which has been disappointed before (witness: the optimism of morning after the first election of Tony Blair…and look what we ended up with!), my spirit can still soar to meet someone who sets the bar of aspiration in the clouds.

I still have space for a fine preacher.

Sentimental hocum? Possibly. But I still love it.

Straight from the Sam Seaborn school of West Wing speech writing (remember the draft State of the Union speech on curing cancer within 10 years??)


From → Reflection

  1. mitch permalink

    Amen! My state (Iowa) got Obama off to a good start. I hope his success continues to build as it seems it is . . . We saw Obama here a year ago in a gym with a couple thousand people, tops. He was so engaging and moving that he even kept the attention of my three sons (two adolescents!) whom I had literally forced to attend. Stefan, my 10 year old, wanted his autograph which I told him would be hard to get, so he shouldn’t get his hopes up. Nevertheless, he was holding out his paper and sharpie pen as Barack came by, paused, shook his hand, and told him he wasn’t doing any autographs as it would take too long and he needed to get to his next campaign stop. He moved to the next person in the crowd lining the aisle, and then next, and then remarkably he turned back to Stefan and said that he changed his mind since Stefan “looked like he really wanted an autograph.” He signed it “To Stephen– Dream big dreams! Barack Obama.” Even with the misspelling, it is really cool, and he has won himself on big supporter in Stefan. And you know, it’s not that I would have thought less of him if he hadn’t done that, but, even as a small an act of kindness as that, especially for your child, sure helps curb the cynicism.

  2. what a GREAT story Mitch…I love it.

    I met Hillary once, on her 50th birthday. I shook her hand, exchanged a few smiling words, then wished her happy birthday. Then, like a typical dopey Irishman I made a joke, telling her she didn’t look at day over 40.

    She just stared at me. Nonplussed. Stared. Then walked away.

    Needless to say, she didn’t come back.

  3. Forgot to say…I love the Yes. We. Can. speech. Very special oratory.

    Adrienne spoiled it for me though, telling me it reminded her of Bob the Builder.

    Can he shift it?

    Yes. He. Can.

  4. virtualmethodist permalink

    Brilliant… And as for it being straight out of the West Wing, is that not true of this whole bizarre campaign?

  5. asharedadventure permalink

    Wow! that is an amazing video clip, very inspiring (until you gave me the Bob the Builder image:-) Amazing things have happened throughout history because of individuals and perhaps even more can be accomplished when individuals who believe ‘yes we can’ join together. This video clip demonstrates how a group of friends can create something powerful that becomes even stronger through others using the internet.

  6. mitch permalink

    I think the ‘day over forty’ line isn’t bad at all, I would have never come up with anything nearly as clever(!) What, she wanted you to say ‘day over 30?!’ Too serious. . . . And fortunately I haven’t seen too many Bob the Builder videos, though even as I type I’m getting a mental image of Barack the Builder in a hardhat! Whatever the case, let’s hope he can!

  7. enuf with the sarcasm mitch…that chat-up line only ever failed with Hillary Clinton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: