Tag Archives: race

Race

I’m still digesting Obama’s speech on race and the comments that have come in its aftermath. I am filled by so many strong, sometimes conflicting emotions that I am not yet able to put it all on paper coherently. Roger Cohen

Having said that, it is such an important issue and it would be a shame if we all didn’t take this opportunity to thrash out the issue of race. I think this article by Roger Cohen is fantastic.

You, me and Obama’s Speech on Race

More and more, I am confounded by the human race. We are all so similar and yet find it so hard to see the world through each others’ eyes. I wonder why that is. I don’t know. I have a lot of ideas and theories, but the truth is, I don’t really know.

What I do know is that Barack took the more difficult path in trying to help his complicated world see things from different perspectives. It was a very honest, courageous speech. If nothing else, it will hopefully lead to a little more honest dialogue. I hope it does a little more. I hope it helps us all at least try to imagine being in another’s shoes. I respect the fact that Obama behaved like a human being with a heart rather than a politician bent on getting elected.

On days like this, I hate politics. The world and all our issues are so much simpler than many politicians make them seem. The solutions to our issues are simpler than they would have us believe.

Hope hurts

A few years ago, I remember inviting my cousin David over to watch a soccer match at my place. I was a bit surprised by his response. He told me that he had quit sport because his heart couldn’t handle it. The disappointment was just too much.

At first I thought he was joking, but true to his word, David just doesn’t watch any sport, at all. Because he is wholehearted in everything he does, his decision is his chosen form of self preservation. And though it might be a little extreme, there are times I think he’s onto something.

I stayed up until 2 in the morning following how things were going in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont. There have been so many twists and turns to this race, I was hoping that Obama would just win the thing outright and give my frayed nerves a rest. As I’m sure you all know by now, it didn’t happen.

Although I don’t like how she did it, you’ve got to give it to Hillary. Her ability to roll up her sleeves and just street fight is amazing. She isn’t shy to get in there and get nasty if need be. I guess that’s her appeal – she’ll do what it takes to get the job done. You have to be impressed by her.

On the other hand, Barack Hussein Obama has come a long way. The fact that he leads in the pledged delegates count is incredible given the obstacles and set backs he has faced. And he can still pull it off. Having read Dreams from My Father, I don’t think long drawn out fights are new to him.

Truth is, most of my disappointment is about me, not Obama. It’s just another thing that I want that I have to wait for. I think that’s what’s really getting to me. This is another emotional rollercoaster for me. Worse still, I have no influence over it. All I can do is wait and hope. I’ve been doing more of both lately than I would prefer.

Oh well. At least Arsenal beat AC Milan in the Champions League last night. Like Barack, they’re one step closer to the title.

The Race

Why is it that we seem to have a need to compare ourselves with other people? Isn’t it odd that we generally decide how we’re doing based on where others are at?

I’ve decided to get off my career path and start again on another one. The trouble is, every now and again I speak to a friend from high school or someone I went to college with and I panic. The worst is going onto facebook! I’m often left feeling like there’s a race on and I’m coming last.

I’m not sure where this desire to keep up with the Jones’ starts. Does it come from watching our parents and mimicking their behaviour, or is it instinctive? All I know is that from an early age, I decided I was a fast runner based on the number of people I beat in a race. And that in itself may not be a bad thing. What’s worrying though is that again at an early age, I started letting the herd decide which attributes were important. So in high school the fact that I was gifted academically didn’t matter because I was terrible at most sports and sports were what mattered. At university it was popularity and again, my kung fu was weak! Now, as an adult in his late twenties, the social currency of choice is career and money.

But hang on. Why do I care? Why do I feel pressured to conform to society’s standards? Am I just a weak willed person or is it the same for everyone else? What is success? Living up to my peers’ expectations, or having the courage to pursue my own dreams, regardless of the social consequences? It sounds so obvious but when it comes down to it, how many of us have the courage to be different and to stand out? Who among us doesn’t want the admiration of their friends and family?

At the end of the day it all comes down to courage. Courage to leave the safe, secure rut you are in and try something different. Courage to risk failure. And the biggest one for me is the need for the courage to step out from under the umbrella of my loved ones’ approval.