Remaking America by Returning to Our Values …

White House image of Obama family
his inaugural address, President Obama called on all of us to return to old values and remake America. It’s a JFK-like call to take up the duties of citizenship.
    “Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.” (Visit ReadThe Spirit for the full text.)
    I’ve been talking with people about this values-based call, and reading reactions on the Web. His call to values-based citizenship – of taking our share of responsibility – has struck a deep chord in Americans.
    This message resonates with me. It compels me to evaluate what I do (and don’t do) at home, work, church and community. And what I should do.
    “To achieve our values,” said my old mentor and friend Allan Schnaiberg in a comment this week on, “we have to take risks and offer support to the new President.”

    How about you?
    What does Obama’s call to action mean to you?
    What risks are we willing to take?

(Note about the photo today: When the new Obama-administration White House Web site went “live” at Noon on Inauguration Day, the photo above was one of the first photos shown at the top of the White House site — a dramatic visual departure from the Bush-era Web site.)

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