How are you feeling today?
Elated? Hopeful? Nervous? Worried? Sad?
There has been a striking change in media coverage of the presidential election over the past 24 hours or so. Yes, journalists are reporting on a few contested races across the U.S., but it is as though Americans are taking a deep breath, looking around and enjoying a rare moment of reflection.
Yesterday, for example, Secretary of State Rice made a point of pausing in a busy schedule to describe her feelings of surprise and also pride in the election. Shaking her head almost in disbelief as she spoke with a warm smile on her face, she said: “One of the great things about representing this country is that it continues to surprise. It continues to renew itself.” Speaking as an African-American, she said, “I’m personally proud. … Yesterday was obviously an extraordinary step forward.”
That’s an unusual range of feelings to hear from someone inside a defeated administration after an election. But Rice is not alone.
In fact, all of the emotions I’ve listed above are popping up in our reflections as Americans.
Here’s how an OurValues.org reader put it in an Email to me:
“I went to bed excited with the possibility of Obama’s lead and woke up at 4 a.m. to go on the Internet to see what happened. I listened to his speech later in the morning. What an orator! He appealed to the common man and the Ph.D. I’m elated by the heartfelt possibilities for the country.
“Later that day, I wanted to share my elation with everyone—the checkout
clerk at the grocery store, at the
cleaners, with my parents. But then I thought they might not feel
the same way. I know my parents
don’t. And the checkout clerk was an African
American and I wondered if he would wonder why I said something. So I didn’t.
many things have come to the surface—race, age, gender, what the candidates
said and what they meant—it makes it awkward
to have real conversations with others.
nervous that people will step back and not step into what has been created—that
we will look at him as a savior and not a leader who needs us to step
sad, too. I fear an assassination attempt. He has
the qualities of Martin Luther King, Jr and JFK.
I would hate to see such a bright light
are you feeling today?
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